Enforcing platform sovereignty: a case study of platform responses to Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code

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4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code requires Google and Facebook to negotiate payments with news publishers for news content appearing on the platforms. Facebook and Google lobbied against the code through a highly visible public-facing campaign which included a series of blogs, videos and pop-up communications across their interfaces including News Feeds, Google Search and Home Page, and You Tube, and culminated in Facebook banning Australian users from accessing Australian news and related content. This article presents the findings of a detailed study of platform discourse in response to the News Media Bargaining Code, using critical discourse analysis, and drawing on theoretical frameworks from Althusser, Foucault and Chun. It also investigates the role of the user interface in platform power, particularly how platform users are interpellated by digital platforms. The findings suggest Facebook and Google’s discursive strategies were deployed to protect, strengthen and enforce platform sovereignty. The case study offers lessons for platform regulation globally in understanding how platforms respond to legislation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalNew Media and Society
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 May 2023

Keywords

  • Digital platforms
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • news media bargaining code
  • platform regulation
  • platform sovereignty
  • user interface

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