back to article Facebook caves to Australia's call for explanations of News Feed algo changes

Facebook has revealed it will happily share details of changes to its News Feed algorithms with Australia's government, but said it won't pay local media organisations when social network users share their content online. The Social Network's™ position is outlined in a new post regarding and submission to [PDF] the agency …

  1. Winkypop Silver badge

    News Corp

    Right-wing nut jobs losing money hand over fist.

    Lovely to watch.

    Not that I'm any fan of FB.

    1. BenDwire Bronze badge

      Re: News Corp

      There are plently of left-wing nut-job rags that are in trouble too. But the owners of both sides have deep pockets.

      I feel for the smaller publishers who probably won't come out of this at all well, if at all.

  2. msknight

    I'll give the Australians this...

    They are willing to take some of the difficult choices and put up with the hardship for the longer goal.

    If push came to shive, I wouldn't be surprised if the Australians told FB to sling their hook alltogether. if anyone would do it, it's them.

    1. PerlyKing Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: I'll give the Australians this...

      Agreed. I hope they tell FB to stick it where the sun doesn't shine. Knowing Australians, they won't be that polite :-)

  3. Beeblebrox

    News Feed

    I don't really understand why these 'News Feeds' need to exist anyway.

    Why go to Facebook or Google to get news scraped from elsewhere? Why not just go somewhere that does news in the first place?

    1. Mark192 Bronze badge

      Re: News Feed

      Mr Beeblebrox, the future galactic president, despaired:

      "I don't really understand why these 'News Feeds' need to exist anyway."

      News aggregators can be an excellent way to get information on the [i]subjects[/i] you're interested in while avoiding being locked into the bias or worldview of a single, or just a few, news organisations.

      As an example, I regularly get articles from both right and left wing news organisations as well as from specialist ones I didn't know existed (such as The Register).

      I now visit The Register regularly - I came for the headlines, I stayed for the quality of the journalism.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: News Feed

      "Why not just go somewhere that does news in the first place?"

      Because the websites have dire search facilities (it's easier to search for a Beeb news item on Google than on their own site) or are just plain dire. We used to have a local paper delivered. Then the local newsagent couldn't get anyone to do deliveries so i turned to their website. It was mostly OK but gradually became more eccentric so I gave up. One annoyance was the 100 plus opt-outs introduced with GDPR. Since then it's got worse as the publishers seem to have reached a little further in their efforts to scrape the bottom of the barrel and appear to have only one site for all their local news. If I go there now it's lost all its original branding and wants to throw news from the all over the UK at me.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: News Feed

        "it's easier to search for a Beeb news item on Google than on their own site"

        FWIW, I find that applies to El Reg too.

  4. Denarius Silver badge

    futile anyway

    Given most of the local media, such as it is, has no news worthy of the name, so what.

    Oz media seems to be obsessed with Trumpery, (ABC mostly) fatuous CGI objects (seriously, most of the characters in reality TV series look like good CGI fakes), and entertainers babbling fashionable buzzwords of the day. Al Jazeera, El Reg and a few other internet sites have become many citizens source of news, in all adult or nearly so age groups. The general skepticism about pollies extends to news purveyors with the added comment that it is always depressing so why bother. For you Poms, commisserations. It is sad how low quality the BBC world news has become.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Mike Flex

      Re: futile anyway

      "It is sad how low quality the BBC world news has become."

      We're not all keen on the BBC domestic news.

      1. ICL1900-G3

        Re: futile anyway

        How's Mike Channel these days?

  5. SMFSubtlety
    Thumb Down

    Are you not entertained?

    " reducing their capacity to deliver the public good of strong news services that entertain and inform the nation."

    Inform the nation - Yes.

    Entertain the nation - No. I do not wish for my news to be entertaining thank you. Precisely because we end up with the ratings chasing sh*t show that is our current "24 hour" news.

    "That article / report is not entertaining enough, spice it up a bit.... change that language, make it more suspenseful. I want fear as a response from the reader / viewer...."

    "But this is a story about the USDA's monthly orange crop report"

    1. RM Myers Bronze badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Are you not entertained?

      But...but...happy talk!

      Okay, I agree with you 100%. The actual information content of most of the 24 hour news channels is rapidly approaching the information content of most commercials, otherwise known as zero, or nil, or nada, or ... well, you get the idea. And local news seems to be as bad.

      1. anonymousI
        Unhappy

        Re: Are you not entertained?

        And more 100% agreement. It seems news programme editors must tell presenters to prioritise colour and movement above all, in the apparent belief their audience has the focus and wit of a wayward waif.

        So on top of the tabloid-traditional shock! horror! content, we now get over-exposure to anything that's in vivid motion - and often totally inane.

  6. Chris the bean counter Bronze badge

    Oz government should hit facebook with nic big sales tax

    And use some of it to subsidise Australian media . Yes difficult to decide who gets it because of bias but I am sure they can have a fair dinkum stab at it.

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