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Google could cut Australians out of upgrades 

  • In the ongoing feud between Google and Facebook and the government, the Fin Review reports Google is working on “a secret project to exclude Australians from regular improvements to its search function and other services if the company does not agree with proposed laws to regulate how it deals with news publishers.”
  • This would effectively isolate Australia from other global markets that have services such as search, news and discover (a personalised content feed) continually tuned and tweaked for efficiency.
  • More sources said Google had been exploring a number of scenarios to assess the effect the code of conduct might have on its products.

Tech giants win concessions, but ‘baseball arbitration’ remains

  • Also at the Fin, they’re reporting tech companies have won a few concessions from the upcoming bill, which Treasurer Frydenberg is expected to unveil on Tuesday. They include: 
  • Facebook and Google will be permitted to count the monetary worth of online readers they deliver news websites, and offset that against the bill they need to pay publishers
  • Facebook’s Instagram and Google’s YouTube will both be excluded from the new digital platform rules
  • Under the mandatory bargaining code if the parties fail to strike a financial deal, an auction system similar to schemes used by American baseball teams in player pay disputes would be overseen by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
  • Nice colour from the SMH which has a quote from an anonymous gov backbencher “The outcome will be that Google and Facebook won’t be completely happy with it and the media companies won’t be completely happy, but it’s something they can all live with.”
  • The post-mortem of the US election campaign continues, with the NYT examining how Joe Biden’s warm fuzzy campaign online held up against the Trump Death Star.  
  • Kevin Roose writes, figuring out whether any particular online strategy decisively moved the needle for Biden is probably impossible. But since successful campaigns breed imitators, it’s worth looking under the hood of the Biden digital strategy to see what future campaigns might learn from it.
  • “The whole Biden campaign ethos was, ‘Twitter isn’t real life,'” said Flaherty, the digital director for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. “There are risks of running a campaign that is too hyperaware of your own ideological corner.”
  • As it focused on Facebook, the Biden campaign paid extra attention to “Facebook moms”— women who spend a lot of time sharing cute and uplifting content, 
  • The story goes into all the various platforms Biden used, including Youtube, Tiktok, and even Animal Crossing 

Netflix’s Heartbreak High reboot: New season of Aussie teen drama will be ‘unwholesome and rebellious’  

  • A week after old episodes of Heartbreak High debuted on Netflix, the streaming giant announced a reboot of the series 
  • “There’s no doubt that Heartbreak High was successful [in other countries] and I would love for this re-imagined version to travel, too,” says Netflix’s director of original Australian content. “But what I’m focused on is our Australian members; I want them to feel ‘seen’ by this version.”
  • Heartbreak High is the first program commissioned by Luu, a former ABC executive producer who joined Netflix in July.
  • The new series, combined with Clickbait, a show set in the US but being filmed in Melbourne, should help protect Netflix from local quotas. 

It’s Official, Trump forgot about TikTok 

  • We reported a few weeks ago that it looked like the US government had simply forgotten about forcing the break up and sale of Tiktok
  • It looks like this is accurate, as the deadline for the sale, December 4, came and went 
  • According to multiple sources, the US government will not be extending the deadline again, but it will also not bother enforcing the breakup.