March 2022

True Lies: Disinformation in an election year

featuring Peter Lewis

As the Federal Election approaches amid heightened geo-political tensions, Burning Platforms looks at a ground-breaking attempt to understand how political actors game the social media algorithms to deliver targeted disinformation. Recorded live March 4th 2022. Regular panellists: Peter Lewis, Director of The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology Lizzie O’Shea, Chair of Digital Rights Watch

February 2022

SA Survey: Labor Hold Narrow Lead, State Not Adequately Prepared for Open Borders

New research from The Australia Institute shows the Labor Party holding a narrow 2PP lead, 51%-49%, one month out from the 2022 state election. The Australia Institute’s survey of a representative sample of 602 South Australians also found there is strong sentiment in the community that the state was not adequately prepared when borders were

Facebook News Takedown Anniversary and the News Media Bargaining Code

featuring Peter Lewis

We mark 12 months from the Facebook news takedown and review the progress of the News Media Bargaining Code. Has the code achieved its objectives? Who’s missed out? And should it be a global model for managing the relationship between journalism and the platforms. Recorded live on 18th February 2022. Regular panellists: Peter Lewis, Director

Facebook’s news-takedown anniversary a reminder to invest in journalism

Today marks one year since the company formerly known as Facebook mounted a hostile takedown of Australian news and civil society sites, threatening quality journalism in Australia. “The failed takedown, designed to apply bipartisan pressure in an effort to block the News Media Bargaining Code, highlighted the willingness of the global corporate giant to threaten

Josh Frydenberg’s ‘Great Reshuffle’ another sign Coalition is out of touch with reality

by Alison Pennington in The New Daily

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s recent declaration – that wage-restrained workers need simply participate in the so-called “Great Reshuffle” to find better-paid jobs – underscores just how disconnected the federal government is from the harsh realities facing many Australian workers. With shades of former treasurer Joe Hockey advising youth priced out of housing to “get a good job that pays good

Tax-deductible RATs deliver nothing to the lowest-paid. How very Morrison government

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

The recent decision to make Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) tax deductible rather than free will deliver nothing to low paid essential workers and big savings to high income earners. How very Morrison Government. While a part-time cleaner working in the aged care sector will likely receive zero benefit from tax deductible RATs, someone earning $200,000

Inquiry into Social Media and Online Safety

featuring Peter Lewis

While Australians spent the summer searching for RATs, a hastily convened federal government inquiry was holding public hearings about online safety, as the Morrison Government amps up its war with the Big Tech companies. Burning Platforms is back for 2022 to dissect the inquiry with deputy chair Tim Watts MP. Recorded live 4th February 2022.

Coalition Budget Cuts Cost ABC Half a Billion Dollars, 640 Jobs

New figures reveal ABC funding has been cut by $526 million since the Coalition took office, with 640 jobs lost. The figures were obtained from the ABC which was asked to provide details on ‘budget reductions’ since the Coalition Government’s first budget in 2013/14, in a QoN at Senate Estimates. Polling from the Australia Institute’s

January 2022

Polling: Vast Majority of Wentworth & North Sydney Voters Want More Funding for ABC

New Australia Institute polling in the federal seats of Wentworth and North Sydney show strong support for the ABC. The polling in the blue-ribbon Liberal seats in NSW shows overwhelming support for increasing ABC funding and for a more independent ABC board appointments process. 853 residents of NSW federal seat of Wentworth and 850 residents

December 2021

As collective bargaining erodes in Australia, solutions from other countries could strengthen bargaining and lift wages 

New research on international collective bargaining systems, released today in a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal, Labour and Industry, finds that Australia’s industrial relations system is rapidly losing its ability to support wages in the face of numerous challenges (now including the Omicron outbreak). On the heels of new data showing further erosion of Australia’s

The Public Square Project book launch

featuring Peter Lewis

Held at The Australia Institute’s Politics in the Pub event, we launch the Centre for Responsible Technology’s new book ‘The Public Square Project’. Western democracy has always been anchored by the idea of a public space where people gather to share ideas, mediate difference and make sense of the world. When Facebook blocked Australian users

Victorian Rate Cap Policy Costs Economy Over 7,000 jobs and $890 million to GDP

The Victorian State Government’s policy to cap the rates of local government has cost the Victorian economy 7,425 direct and indirect jobs in 2021-22, and has reduced GDP by up to $890 million in 2021-22, according to new research from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work. Key Findings The Victorian Government’s rate caps have

Whatever happened to the free web?

featuring Dan Stinton, Lizzie O'Shea and Peter Lewis

The internet promised new ways to challenge power and privilege, so how has it become a tool to promote division and entrench despots? Join us as we dive deep with special guest Elaine Pearson from Human Rights Watch into the ways tech platforms have become wilful partners in oppression around the globe. Regular panellists: Peter

The Public Square Project: Reimagining Our Digital Future

A new book from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology, published by MUP and released today, The Public Square Project: Reimagining Our Digital Future explores a new blueprint for a more democratic digital space, and re-examines the idea of a public space where people gather to share ideas, mediate difference and make sense of

November 2021

Amazon’s Big Friday a Black Day for Worker Rights

The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible technology today called on Amazon to mark its global marketing day, Black Friday, by ditching patents to increase the surveillance of its workers. According to an analysis by UNI Global, Amazon currently have patents on a range of technologies that will erode workplace privacy including: Augmented reality headsets that

What’s the go with DuckDuckGo?

featuring Peter Lewis, Lizzie O'Shea and Dan Stinton

The dominance of Google’s data-hungry search engine is under the spotlight in Australia, with live inquiries on its role in the Ad-tech industry and anti-competitive deals which embed the search engine in smart devices. But DuckDuckGo has proven that you can build a search engine that’s not based on user surveillance. In this week’s Burning

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