Facebook’s Trump Ruling Shows Need for an Independent Public Square

“The confused ruling by Facebook’s internal oversight board highlights the need for an independent public network that is not driven by commercial objectives,” said Peter Lewis, director of the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. “The overnight ruling, that upheld the suspension of President Trump but calls on Facebook to establish clearer guidelines for banning

April 2021

Time to Reimagine Public Broadcasting to Address the Power of Facebook

A new report by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology calls for a rethink of the role of the national broadcaster to provide alternate digital spaces to Facebook and other global platforms. The paper The Public Square Project proposes a publicly funded social network built on the trust and reach of the ABC to create: communities

March 2021

Australia has shown you can take on big companies – and win

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

Big companies are always threatening to take their bat and ball and leave our shores, and Australian politicians usually beg them to stay. Whether it’s cutting company taxes or promising weak IR and environmental laws, for decades the Australian government has behaved like a lonely kid who worries the cool kids won’t talk to them

February 2021

Bargaining Code a Welcome First Step in Regulating Big Tech

“The legislation creates a safety net designed to ensure that social media platforms recognise the value of public interest journalism,” said Peter Lewis, director of the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. “We know the prospect of the code has led to significant settlements with large media players. We now need to see how it

Facebook destroying its social license by restricting Australian news content

“Facebook’s decision to prevent users viewing or sharing public interest journalism will make it a weaker social network,” said Peter Lewis, director of the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. “The social network is destroying its social license to operate. Facebook actions mean the company’s failures in privacy, disinformation, and data protection will require a

Google and the use and abuse of economic modelling

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss

In its efforts to avoid regulation, Google commissioned economic modelling showing that Google providing tens of billions of dollars in benefits to Australia – but the figures quickly fell apart on closer inspection from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. In this episode, chief economist Richard Denniss talks us through some of the assumptions

Facebook and Google having too much market power is a threat to democracy

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

Forget about how much you loathe Rupert Murdoch for a minute. The well-earned ire for the media mogul’s empire is muddying the waters in the huge battle over the news media bargaining code, a battle Australia cannot afford to lose. At stake is the future of public interest journalism, as well as the ability of

January 2021

Australians Want More News, Less Misinformation in Their Social Media Feeds

New research from The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology has shown that a majority of Australians want social media companies to prioritise journalism from news sites, limit the spread of misinformation and be more transparent about how they choose what content their users see. The research is being released as representatives from Facebook prepare

December 2020

Statement on News Media Bargaining Code: Big Tech Media Code Good News for Democracy

The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology has welcomed the introduction of legislation, forcing Google and Facebook to pay for news, as globally significant response to the growing power of Big Tech. The News Media Bargaining Code, to be tabled by the Morrison Government this week, will force the platforms to compensate for the premium

Strong Public Support for Big Tech to Pay for News

The Australian public has endorsed moves by the Morrison Government to pass legislation requiring Google and Facebook to pay media companies for the news that drives their social networks. The proposed ACCC Media Code seeks to regulate big tech platforms such as Facebook and Google, and help ensure a viable future for Australian media. The

August 2020

Media Decline Amid Growing Power of Big Tech Demonstrates Need for ACCC Media Code

The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology has made a submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) regarding its draft news bargaining code, with close of submissions today.  Key Points in Submission: The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology supports the implementation of a news media bargaining code proposed by the ACCC. Media

Time to Pay Workers for Data Produced at Work

With the incidence of workplace monitoring increasing during the pandemic lockdown, new research shows that workers should be compensated for the secondary use of data gathered in the course of their employment. The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology have made a submission to a NSW inquiry into the future of work, arguing that information

July 2020

Consumer & Citizen Groups have Serious Concerns About Google Fitbit Takeover

Consumer and citizen groups have significant concerns that Google’s proposed takeover of wearables manufacturer Fitbit would be a game-changer not only for how people interact with the online world but also for digital and related health markets. Regulators around the world – in particular those concerned with antitrust compliance and data privacy – must therefore

March 2020

Stronger Controls Around Artificial Intelligence Needed

New technologies that deploy Artificial intelligence should be assessed for their social impact on citizens before they are allowed to be deployed, according to The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. In its submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) discussion paper on human rights and technology, the Centre argues that a formal regulatory regime, rather

February 2020

Massive Facial Recognition Hack Highlights Need to Call Pause

The hack of billions of photos from an Australian start-up, Clearview AI, which harvests photos from social media and bundles the information for law enforcement agencies, reinforces the need to place a moratorium on facial recognition technology. The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology is supporting the Australian Human Rights Commission’s proposal for a moratorium

December 2019

Digital Platforms Response Business as Usual for Big Tech

“If the ACCC Digital Platforms Review was, as reported at the time, world’s best practice on regulating Big Tech, the government’s response shows Big Tech has secured world’s best practice in slowing down meaningful reform,” said Peter Lewis, Director of the Centre for Responsible Technology at the Australia Institute. “Hardly anything from the ACCC has

November 2019

Public Supports Tighter Social Media Controls over Elections

The Australian public support tighter regulation of political advertising on social media platforms, from truth in advertising, limits to micro-targeting, to bans on political advertising on social media altogether. The findings, based on public polling conducted by Essential Research in November found: 73 per cent support requiring social media platforms to ensure political ads are

New Research Shows Public Concern Over Data Harvesting

The majority of Australians are not comfortable with the way government and companies collect and use their personal information, according to new research. To coincide with its launch, the Australia Institute’s new Centre for Responsible Technology today released new research showing high levels of discomfort with the way personal information is collected, repurposed and stored.

Australia Institute Launches New Responsible Tech Initiative

The Australia Institute today launched the Centre for Responsible Technology, a new non-partisan centre designed to give people greater influence over the way technology is rapidly changing our world. The Centre for Responsible Technology will collaborate with academics, activists, civil society and business to shape policy and practice around network technology by raising public awareness

Media Enquiries

Anna Chang Communications Director

0422 775 161

anna@australiainstitute.org.au