ScoMo? What are you thinking? ScoMo V Google
Covid crisis and all ScoMo has had his hands full over the last 12 months. Yet the Government continues to run the country and push ahead with new pieces of legislation. The one piece of legislation that has my attention is the law forcing Google and Facebook to pay media outlets for news content. The result being that Melanie Silva, the head of Google, has threatened to shut down Google in Australia.
The law of unintended consequences.
How many Governments have screwed up and done about faces when the law of unintended consequences kicks in. The potential here is disastrous for businesses throughout Australia. Not to mention incredibly regressive.
ScoMo, if you are reading this, we live in a world with the FAANG economy (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google). It is not 1997 anymore. The world has changed and moved on. If you are really concerned about these businesses, why not put some smart minds to figuring out how to tax these businesses appropriately, it really isn’t that hard.
By introducing such legislation, you are trying to prop up and subsidise a dying media industry. Traditional media outlets are anachronistic, and their business model is no longer relevant. Where you fail to miss the point is that small business are reliant on Google now for survival. Smart, intelligent business large and small have invested in this technology and have been able to flourish off the back of Google and Facebook and the marketing techniques that Google brings.
I must declare that I own a digital marketing agency with my wife (Goop Digital) and have nearly 1,000 clients Australia wide focusing on regional Australia. So I have a direct conflict of interest, but someone has to fly the flag for small business. If Google is to pull out of this country, it would be disastrous for small to medium businesses that have utilised businesses like mine to successfully get their businesses onto that coveted home page, top position on Google. (If you want to hide a dead body put it on page two of Google). It’s not just the search results; it’s all the tools that small business have come to rely on. Google My Busines, Google Analytics, Google Ads, Google Console and the list goes on.
Where are the businesses representative bodies? All the traditional press coverage of this new legislation appears to suggest this legislation is a good thing and that Google is acting like a bully. I wonder why? Is there a vested interest here?
- Australian Chamber of Commerce
- Victorian Chamber of Commerce
- Geelong Chamber of Commerce
- Council of Small Business organisations Australia (Cosboa)
- Small Business Association of Australia (SBAA)
These are just some of the business representative bodies that should be mobilising and shouting from the rooftops the destructive nature (to Australian business) of this legislation should Google follow through with its response to this legislation should it be approved.
ScoMo, look into your crystal ball and realise that the future is a changing place. We need a progressive government that embraces technology and a greener future (you seriously missed the green boat on the stimulus package). If you go down this path, why don’t you ban the internet as well?
Call or email your business association, make them take action.
This media bargaining code is wrong on so may fronts.