Parler, popular with American right-wing users but which virtually vanished after the U.S. Capitol riot, re-launched its social media platform on Monday and said its new platform is built on “sustainable, independent technology.”
In a statement announcing the relaunch, Parler also said it had appointed Mark Meckler as its interim Chief Executive, replacing John Matze who was fired by the board this month.
Parler had gone dark after being cut off by major service providers that accused the app of failing to police violent content related to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Last month, Amazon.com had suspended Parler from its web hosting service, effectively taking the site offline unless it can find a new company to host its services. Parler, on Monday, said its new technology cut its reliance on “so-called Big Tech” for its operations.
Apple and Alphabet-owned Google had also banned the app from its mobile stores.
Parler said in its statement on Monday it would bring back online its current users in the first week and would be open to new users the next week. (Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Howard Goller)
Australia passes law to make Google and Facebook pay media companies for news content – Financial Post
Australia will be the first country where a government arbitrator will decide the price to be paid by the tech giants if commercial negotiations with local news outlets fail
CANBERRA — The Australian parliament on Thursday passed a new law designed to force Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc to pay media companies for content used on their platforms in reforms that could be replicated in other countries.
Australia will be the first country where a government arbitrator will decide the price to be paid by the tech giants if commercial negotiations with local news outlets fail.
The legislation was watered down, however, at the last minute after a standoff between the government and Facebook culminated in the social media company blocking all news for Australian users.
Subsequent amendments to the bill included giving the government the discretion to release Facebook or Google from the arbitration process if they prove they have made a “significant contribution” to the Australian news industry.
Some lawmakers and publishers have warned that could unfairly leave smaller media companies out in the cold, but both the government and Facebook have claimed the revised legislation as a win.
“The code will ensure that news media businesses are fairly remunerated for the content they generate, helping to sustain public-interest journalism in Australia,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said in a joint statement on Thursday.
The progress of the legislation has been closely watched around the world as countries including Canada and Britain consider similar steps to rein in the dominant tech platforms.
The revised code, which also includes a longer period for the tech companies to strike deals with media companies before the state intervenes, will be reviewed within one year of its commencement, the statement said. It did not provide a start date.
The legislation does not specifically name Facebook or Google. Frydenberg said earlier this week he will wait for the tech giants to strike commercial deals with media companies before deciding whether to compel both to do so under the new law.
Google has struck a series of deals with publishers, including a global content arrangement with News Corp, after earlier threatening to withdraw its search engine from Australia over the laws.
Several media companies, including Seven West Media , Nine Entertainment and the Australian Broadcasting Corp have said they are in talks with Facebook.
Representatives for both Google and Facebook did not immediately respond to requests from Reuters for comment on Thursday.
Facebook exploring potential news licensing agreements in Canada: source
By Moira Warburton
VANCOUVER (Reuters) – Facebook Inc is exploring potential licensing agreements in the coming year with Canadian media outlets and expanding its investment in local journalism initiatives, a source familiar with the company’s thinking said on Wednesday.
The move comes as the Canadian government is preparing to introduce legislation in the coming months, along the lines of the controversial Australian model that forces technology companies like Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google to pay media companies for content.
But the source said Facebook views the situation in Australia as unique.
“You’re looking at a country that is by and large dominated by one large media conglomerate that has a very heavy influence on government and government policies,” the source said, pointing out that most countries do not have that.
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp owns two-thirds of Australia’s major city newspapers.
The conversations around licensing are taking place at a high level, and the source compared the potential licensing agreements to those Facebook obtained to use music in Instagram stories and reels.
The source, who is not authorised to speak about the matter publicly, declined to say which Canadian publishers Facebook would consider for licensing talks or how much it has budgeted.
Last week, Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault, in charge of crafting legislation, condemned Facebook’s decision to shut down all news sites in Australia for several days, and said it would not deter Ottawa from introducing new rules.
Facebook announced on Wednesday that it would raise its funding of news publishers to $1 billion over three years.
Canada‘s news media industry has come out hard against Facebook and asked the government for more regulation of tech companies, to allow the industry to recoup financial losses it has suffered in the years that Facebook and Google have been steadily gaining greater market shares of advertising.
(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by Denny Thomas and Marguerita Choy)
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