Thursday, March 07, 2019

Facebook has serious concerns about the competition watchdog's proposed news and advertising regulator, fearing it could disrupt Australians' newsfeeds

Facebook are afraid that instead of being the censor, they may become censored.  But they are going off half-cocked.  All that is proposed so far is information gathering.  They must be afraid of what people will find.  As we learn from John 3: 19-20, the children of the light love the light and the children of the darkness love the darkness.

Libertarians regularly propose information as an alternative to regulation so this step may well be on the right track towards bringing some accountability to what is undoubtedly a bigoted  organization.  With the Australian government watching, Australian conservatives may be less likely to be obliterated by this rogue organization

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in December released a preliminary report into the impact digital platforms are having on competition in local media and advertising.

The ACCC recommended a regulatory authority be given the power to "monitor, investigate and report" on how news and advertising is ranked on digital platforms.

Facebook executives insist they want to work with the federal government on policy but took issue with a number of the watchdog's recommendations during a Sydney briefing with reporters.

Facebook argues a number of the recommendations - such as the government-regulated ranking system - could cause "significant harm".

"The proposed level of regulatory intervention for the news regulator and ad regulator is unprecedented as far as I've seen," Facebook competition spokeswoman Samantha Knox said on Wednesday.

"Our view is that people, and not regulators, should decide what you see on (your) newsfeed. "The point of Facebook is to connect you with friends and family and content that you care about. It is not to be primarily a channel of news distribution."

The social media giant's Australia and New Zealand public policy director, Mia Garlick, said the regulations would favour certain publishers.

She argued users should control what they see on Facebook. "We genuinely have concerns about the impact on consumer benefit here," Ms Garlick told reporters.

"If suddenly it's decided by this regulator 'Oh actually people should see more of this type of content' that's a very new space to get into where the regulator is suddenly deciding what Australians should be seeing on their newsfeed."

Facebook could be more transparent and better educate consumers regarding tools to tailor their newsfeeds, such as advertising preferences, Ms Garlick admitted.

Facebook competition spokesman Matt Perault says any additional regulation should aim to solve a specific problem.

Rules that restrict hate speech could also impact free expression, he said, noting: "Those are considerations that need to be balanced."

Facebook insisted it wasn't solely responsible for the decline in mainstream media. "The proposed 'news ranking regulator' will not solve the problem of how to support sustainable journalism in Australia," Facebook's formal response to the ACCC report states.  "The monetisation challenges facing some publishers began long before Facebook."

The ACCC's preliminary report said while digital platforms had revolutionised communication and offered many benefits, they were also "gateways" to information.

"Organisations like Google and Facebook are more than mere distributors or pure intermediaries in the supply of news in Australia; they increasingly perform similar functions as media businesses like selecting, curating and ranking content," watchdog chairman Rod Sims said in late 2018. "Yet, digital platforms face less regulation than many media businesses."

The ACCC is due to provide its final report to the government in early June.


PM's Christmas Island visit before any medevac applications lodged

Asylum seekers accused of murder, inappropriate behaviour and alleged terrorism offences will be sent to Christmas Island if they apply to come to Australia for medical treatment, Prime Minister Scott Morrison will announce on Wednesday.

The PM will fly to Christmas Island - the first ever Australian PM to officially visit the Australian territory in the Indian Ocean - on Wednesday to inspect immigration facilities, despite no asylum seekers or refugees applying for transfer yet. 

Since the Medevac bill, which gives doctors more say in transferring refugees and asylum seekers for medical treatment, was made law on Friday no applications have been submitted.

Doctors are holding off until they triage patients to ensure those in the most need of medical treatment are transferred first and only a handful of applications are expected to be submitted in the next two weeks.

Mr Morrison announced plans to reopen the detention centre on the island last month, citing fears of an influx of asylum seekers sparked by the Labor-backed medevac legislation.

He's expected to use his visit to Christmas Island to detail plans to send any detainees on Manus Island and Nauru who are deemed "a risk" and apply to come to mainland Australia for medical treatment, to the high-security North West Point detention centre.

Fifty-seven male detainees have been identified as a "risk" including several accused of murder, inappropriate behaviour and alleged terrorism offences.

There are about another 850 men left in offshore processing centres on Nauru and Manus Island and it's unclear if those people will be allowed to come to hospitals on mainland Australia under the medevac legislation.

Last month, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said it was the government's "default position" to send all transferees to Christmas Island for medical treatment.

Mr Morrison will tour the North West Point detention centre and the medical and accommodation facilities while on the island, depending on weather.

He will also be briefed by the Australian Border Force, as well as contractor Serco and medical experts.


Should Women Be Expected To Know How To Change A Tyre?

A failure of feminism?

What happens when a Millennial breaks down on the side of the road? New research reveals very few will get out their tyre-changing kit — or even know what that is.

Drivers under 25 are more likely to post about their situation on social media, as Gold Coast friends Leah Heritage and Molly McMahon did when they chronicled their recent flat tyre experience.

Leah was in that situation when her dad texted her back saying he warned her to check her tyres a week earlier. The girls had been trying to get to a picnic with friends and had no idea what to do.

The data from Driver Safety Australia shows three in four drivers under 25 are driving a car more than a decade old, but most of them don’t undertake regular checks on it, either leaving it to someone else or naively believing a warning light will alert them to any safety issue.

Young drivers are two times more likely to blow $50 on a meal out with friends than fix a broken headlight or worn windscreen wiper.   They’re even more likely to spend money cleaning their car than they are fixing a critical safety issue. Alarmingly, the research also shows two in five drivers under 25 have knowingly driven a car with a safety issue.

Driver Safety Australia boss Russell White said the frightening research was not only endangering the lives of young drivers but road users more generally.

“Car crashes happen in an instant, and in that moment having a car in safe condition can be the difference between life and death,” Mr White said. “Every driver has a responsibility to ensure they’re taking precautions to keep themselves and those around them safe.

“Whether that’s tyre tread and being able to brake in time or having adequate vision in different weather conditions with working wipers or headlights.

“On top of these safety concerns, there’s also the added risk of being stranded when broken down on the side of the road. We continue to see serious injuries and fatalities as a result of being struck in high-traffic areas, which can often be avoided.”

The research shows attitude isn’t the problem but a lack of skills and knowledge.

While a third of young drivers said they didn’t know anything about basic car checks, almost the same amount believed being able to maintain their vehicle was an important skill that every driver should know.

Most were willing to learn, which is why Driver Safety Australia has teamed up with Supercheap Auto in a new campaign to educate young drivers.

“Check It” is an Australia-wide initiative that will raise awareness around the importance of undertaking regular vehicle safety checks.

On March 30, free training will be provided across Supercheap Auto’s 278 Australian stores, and tutorials are also available online.


Aboriginal youths 'involved in a string of car thefts and robberies' were sent to an $600-a-night hotel in Melbourne to meet footy stars and watch an NRL game - all paid for by YOU

Four Sydney youths allegedly involved in a string of brazen car thefts and robberies were taken on a free trip to a football game in Melbourne as part of a police program to try and stop them from re-offending.

The boys were put up in a four-star hotel after being driven from Sydney to Melbourne for the Indigenous All Stars rugby league match in February, according to 7News. 

The four teenage criminals stayed in the Skyhigh Apartments - which are rented out for up to $600 a night - during their three-day trip - even training with the indigenous All Stars team before watching the game.

The group had allegedly been involved in a series of luxury car thefts, which they allegedly used to ram raid shops in Mt Druitt, Sydney, Seven reported. 

NSW Police have defended the taxpayer-funded program, saying it is one of a number that provide valuable opportunities for at risk youth. 

'Community engagement programs create alternate pathways and goals for Aboriginal youth, diverting them away from criminal activity,' a NSW Police spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia. The young people were selected in recognition of their commitment, conduct, teamwork, attendance and attitude. The diversion program is voluntarily attended.'

NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham slammed the police diversion program on Monday, calling it a misallocation of resources.

'Is the State Government's policy for stealing a car, ram raiding a shop, and stealing the contents to win a free trip to the footy in Melbourne?' Mr Latham said.

But Blacktown City councilor Brad Bunting disagreed, saying programs that encourage troubled youths to get out and about and contributed to the community were better than just throwing them in jail, and should be encouraged.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

1 comment:

PB said...

In the very compact brain of the modern young Aboriginal, incarceration is more a family reunion than a punishment, and life inside is probably better than their life outside so the punishment factor is largely lost. More so if the sentence is short, as is often the case. Add a reward like this on top of that and you have a recipe for a life of crime that always comes with rewards. Given their complete lack of future time orientation nothing here is in any way corrective.