Wednesday 4th of August 2021

google journalism...


There’s a big hint in the name, Nine Entertainment – not “Nine Public Interest Journalism”.

It’s Nine Entertainment that is reportedly copping $30 million a year from Google after the government, primarily on behalf of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and Nine Entertainment, pressured the tech giant into subsidising media companies for their inability to compete in the advertising business.

There’s another hint in that description, “media companies” – not “public interest journalism companies”.

There are further hints about the political media mates’ game in the latest Nine Entertainment annual report and the final annual report of Fairfax, before it was taken over by Nine.

Unless the Nine house committee (if there still is one – Nine hasn’t bothered to sign the old Fairfax charter of editorial independence) has something in writing that the Google millions will all go to increase the journalism budget, journalism will have to take its place in the queue behind stuff that is more important to Nine, like Married At First Sight and increasing the dividends paid to shareholders.

There’s innocent optimism among Nine journalists who bought into the management story that the government strongarming Google was about the public interest.

I suspect they don’t spend much time reading their employer’s annual reports.

Great news for journalism. Google has agreed to pay Nine Entertainment Co more than $30 million a year

— Bevan Shields (@BevanShields) February 16, 2021


In the last Fairfax report just before the takeover in 2018, the then CEO boasted about the Metro business – the key Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Australian Financial Review newspapers.

“Our journalism is stronger than ever. We are investing heavily in quality editorial. It is a key competitive point of difference and at the heart of our premium brands and audiences,” the CEO said.

“A new advertising model underpins the Metro business. Our industry-leading sales and technology partnership with Google is maximising the value of our brands, audiences and advertising for programmatic buyers. We are seeing signs of print revenue mitigation as a result of a new industry-aligned vertical sales structure driving deeper, direct and more valuable partnerships with advertisers, and leveraging our rick data, audience expertise and insights.”

Yes, a great partnership with Google, maximising value. Funny how things change when there is the chance to grab of a dubious pot of money.

The 2017 Fairfax results showed Metro costs fell 12 per cent and EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) soared 26 per cent to $49 million.

The final 2018 results for Metro had costs down another 8 per cent and EBITDA up 8 per cent to $53.1 million.


How the key newspapers are faring is more opaque within the much bigger Nine Entertainment operation, but two messages come through: It was COVID that really hurt the newspapers last year, not Google; and chairman Peter Costello wasn’t focused on public interest journalism in his cash grab.


Nine Entertainment said that in the year to June, the SMH, The Age and AFRwere going gangbusters in readership, “all clear leaders in their respective sectors”, leading to increased subscription revenue. Digital subscriber growth was more than 20 per cent June on June for all three titles.

“In a difficult broader advertising market, Nine grew its digital advertising revenues by 4 per cent,” reported the report. “This was offset, however, by a 19 per cent decline in print.”

Key print advertising revenue used to be travel and luxury goods – COVID whacked them, not Google. Anyone remember all the ads for cruises?

“Digital advertising outperformed the broader ad market, driven both by the benefits of consolidation within the Nine Group as well as the advertising sales agreement with Google which resulted in an increased share of digital revenues.”

Nine chairman Peter Costello wasn’t bothering with anything as vague as “public interest journalism” in his contribution to the annual report. He was too busy complaining about the market power of Facebook and Google and how they weren’t subject to local content rules, as Nine television is.

“Nonetheless, they are able to use the premium content we produce to attract audiences in the Australian market,” Mr Costello wrote.

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Cornflakes news with no controversies added, except tasteless Russia and China bashing... The empire is in good hands..

our glasshouse is bulletproof...

People in glass houses should be careful about throwing stones


By JOHN MENADUE | On 18 February 2021

A group of Australian journalists in their never-ending hostility to China keep throwing stones at China for human rights breaches in Xinjiang, but largely ignore Australian and other breaches. Their ignorance of China explains a lot.

Echoing Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo, they point regularly to the human rights abuses and possible genocide of the Chinese Communist Party, not the Chinese Government, against the Uighur people in Xinjiang.

Chinese actions in Xinjiang need close international examination for likely human rights breaches. We should be part of that examination.

But as Professor Colin Mackerras has pointed out, we need to look carefully at the full story in Xinjiang where the Uighur population has increased substantially.


We must also look at the wider context of human rights abuses not only by China but also by ourselves, our allies and our neighbours.

Let’s start with our Frontier Wars that really were genocide. More than 50,000 of our Indigenous people were murdered by settlers and police on our frontier for more than a century. Our First Nations people were hunted, killed, poisoned, forced from their land and separated from their children. The policy then and in subsequent decades was to eliminate our Indigenous people. We don’t want to acknowledge or remember what early European Australians did.

With a population of only 1 to 2 million in Australia at the time, this was genocide and human rights abuse on a vast scale. And the legacy of that genocide is still with us – in the much lower life expectancy of Indigenous people and a much higher incarceration rate. Australian history is grounded in genocide. We hardly have clean hands in throwing stones at others. Any mention by the anti-China brigade?

We have treated refugees and asylum seekers cruelly since the days of John Howard. We have breached human rights and refugee conventions, but scarcely a whisper about this from out anti China brigade.

Again and again, we turn our back on the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the dispossession, cruelty and human rights abuses to which the Palestinian people have been subjected.

Along with six other countries, as a member of the International Criminal Court, we have just intervened to argue that the ICC does not have jurisdiction to investigate war crimes and breaches of humanity in Palestine. But once again, our anti-Chinese hawks show little interest in Australian breaches of human rights conventions. But China is always in their prejudiced minds.

And what of human rights’ abuses and likely genocide in West Papua. As Professor Stuart Rees in Pearls and Irritations wrote on 16 February 2021:


A citizens’ tribunal held in Sydney in 1998 reported on hundreds of Papuans murdered on Biak Island. Violence to suppress any signs of pro-independence activities was documented in a subsequent report from the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at Sydney University, ‘Anatomy of an Occupation: the Indonesian Military in West Papua.’

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch confirmed the Sydney findings and a corresponding conclusion from Griffith University researchers that in the previous 50 years, the killing of half a million West Papuans amounted to ‘a slow-moving genocide’.

But what do the China critics say about this ‘slow moving’ genocide’ on our doorstep?

Media hysteria is serving us very badly. All human rights abuses need urgent international action. We detract from our  role in the defence of human rights when we are so partisan on the issue.

So much of the hostility to China is ignorant, unbalanced, damaging, pointless and so unnecessary.


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Google will lead us to the promised land of sanitized news...

google biased artificial intelligence...

Google to change research process after uproar over scientists' firing

Exits of Timnit Gebru and Margaret Mitchell sparked backlash from inside and outside the company

Google will change procedures before July for reviewing its scientists’ work, according to a town hall recording heard by Reuters, part of an effort to quell internal tumult over the integrity of its artificial intelligence (AI) research.

In remarks at a staff meeting last Friday, Google Research executives said they were working to regain trust after the company ousted two prominent women and rejected their work, according to an hour-long recording, the content of which was confirmed by two sources.


Teams are already trialing a questionnaire that will assess projects for risk and help scientists navigate reviews, Maggie Johnson, the research unit’s chief operating officer, said in the meeting. This initial change would roll out by the end of the second quarter, and the majority of papers would not require extra vetting, she said.

Reuters reported in December that Google had introduced a “sensitive topics” review for studies involving dozens of issues, such as China or bias in its services. Internal reviewers had demanded that at least three papers on AI be modified to refrain from casting Google technology in a negative light, Reuters reported.

Jeff Dean, Google’s senior vice-president overseeing the division, said on Friday that the “sensitive topics” review “is and was confusing” and that he had tasked a senior research director, Zoubin Ghahramani, with clarifying the rules, according to the recording.

Ghahramani, a University of Cambridge professor who joined Google in September from Uber, said during the town hall, “We need to be comfortable with that discomfort” of self-critical research.

Google declined to comment on the Friday meeting.

An internal email, seen by Reuters, offered fresh detail on Google researchers’ concerns, showing exactly how Google’s legal department had modified one of the three AI papers, called Extracting Training Data from Large Language Models.

The email, dated 8 February, from a co-author of the paper, Nicholas Carlini, went to hundreds of colleagues, seeking to draw their attention to what he called “deeply insidious” edits by company lawyers.

“Let’s be clear here,” the roughly 1,200-word email said. “When we as academics write that we have a ‘concern’ or find something ‘worrying’ and a Google lawyer requires that we change it to sound nicer, this is very much Big Brother stepping in.”

Required edits, according to his email, included “negative-to-neutral” swaps such as changing the word “concerns” to “considerations,” and “dangers” to “risks”. Lawyers also required deleting references to Google technology; the authors’ finding that AI leaked copyrighted content; and the words “breach” and “sensitive”, the email said.

Carlini did not respond to requests for comment. Google, in answer to questions about the email, disputed its contention that lawyers were trying to control the paper’s tone. The company said it had no issues with the topics investigated by the paper, but it found some legal terms used inaccurately and conducted a thorough edit as a result.

Racial equity audit

Google last week also named Marian Croak, a pioneer in internet audio technology and one of Google’s few Black vice-presidents, to consolidate and manage 10 teams studying issues such as racial bias in algorithms and technology for disabled individuals.

Croak said at Friday’s meeting that it would take time to address concerns among AI ethics researchers and mitigate damage to Google’s brand. “Please hold me fully responsible for trying to turn around that situation,” she said on the recording.

Johnson added that the AI organization was bringing in a consulting firm for a wide-ranging racial equity impact assessment. The first-of-its-kind audit for the department would lead to recommendations “that are going to be pretty hard”, she said.

Tensions in Dean’s division had deepened in December after Google fired Timnit Gebru, co-lead of its ethical AI research team, following her refusal to retract a paper on language-generating AI. Gebru, who is Black, accused the company at the time of reviewing her work differently because of her identity and of marginalizing employees from underrepresented backgrounds. Nearly 2,700 employees signed an open letter in support of Gebru.

During the town hall, Dean elaborated on what scholarship the company would support. “We want responsible AI and ethical AI investigations,” Dean said, giving the example of studying technology’s environmental costs. But he said it was problematic to cite data “off by close to a factor of a hundred” while ignoring more accurate statistics as well as Google’s efforts to reduce emissions. Dean has previously criticized Gebru’s paper for not including important findings on environmental impact.

Gebru defended her paper’s citation. “It’s a really bad look for Google to come out this defensively against a paper that was cited by so many of their peer institutions,” she told Reuters.

Employees continued to post about their frustrations over the last month on Twitter as Google investigated and then fired Margaret Mitchell, an ethical AI co-lead, for moving electronic files outside the company. Mitchell said on Twitter that she had acted “to raise concerns about race & gender inequity, and speak up about Google’s problematic firing of Dr Gebru”.

Mitchell had collaborated on the paper that prompted Gebru’s departure, and a version that published online last month without Google affiliation named “Shmargaret Shmitchell” as a co-author.

Asked for comment, Mitchell expressed through an attorney disappointment in Dean’s critique of the paper and said her name was removed following a company order.


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bing bang bong...

As an online search engine, the primary objective of Bing is to connect users with the most relevant search results from the web —providing easy access to quality content produced by web publishers. To do this, Bing automatically crawls the web to build an index of new and updated pages (or URLs) to display as a set of search results relevant to a user-initiated search or action. The content of these pages may reference or contain various online resources and content including websites, images, videos, documents, and other items. Search results are generated by using computer algorithms to match the search terms you enter with results in our index. In general, we try to provide as comprehensive and as useful a collection of displayed search results as we can. We design—and continually improve—our algorithms to provide the most relevant and useful results.
As an algorithmically-driven service, Bing doesn't control the operation or design of the indexed websites, and has no control over what indexed websites publish. As long as the website continues to make the information available on the web and to crawlers, the information will be generally available through Bing or other search engines.


I leave up to you to discover that BING like Google trawls the internet and STORES on its computers the data so fished. When you ask Google or BING to search something, they don't search the net. They source the results from their data collections. They also have priorities for paid advertisers and filters to remove "offending" results or those contrary to the new "WOKE" policies... in a TRUTH versus False Facts manner. The purveyors of major fake news, the religious mobs, are exempt, because....

a vicious campaign...


Companies such as Google and Facebook appear to be aiding and abetting a vicious government campaign against Indian environmental campaigners

by Naomi Klein

Thu 4 Mar 2021 17.00 AEDT

The bank of cameras camped outside Delhi’s sprawling Tihar jail was the sort of media frenzy you would expect to await a prime minister caught in an embezzlement scandal, or a Bollywood star caught in the wrong bed. Instead, the cameras were waiting for Disha Ravi, a nature-loving 22-year-old vegan climate activist who against all odds has found herself ensnared in an Orwellian legal saga that includes accusations of sedition, incitement and involvement in an international conspiracy whose elements include (but are not limited to): Indian farmers in revolt, the global pop star Rihanna, supposed plots against yoga and chai, Sikh separatism and Greta Thunberg.

If you think that sounds far-fetched, well, so did the judge who released Ravi after nine days in jail under police interrogation. Judge Dharmender Rana was supposed to rule on whether Ravi, one of the founders of the Indian chapter of Fridays for Future, the youth climate group started by Thunberg, should continue to be denied bail. He ruled that there was no reason for bail to be denied, which cleared the way for Ravi’s return to her home in Bengaluru that night.

But the judge also felt the need to go much further, to issue a scathing 18-page ruling on the underlying case that has gripped Indian media for weeks, issuing his own personal verdict on the various explanations provided by the Delhi police for why Ravi had been apprehended in the first place. The police’s evidence against the young climate activist is, he wrote, “scanty and sketchy”, and there is not “even an iota” of proof to support the claims of sedition, incitement or conspiracy that have been levelled against her and at least two other young activists.

Though the international conspiracy case appears to be falling apart, Ravi’s arrest has spotlighted a different kind of collusion, this one between the increasingly oppressive and anti-democratic Hindu nationalist government of the prime minister, Narendra Modi, and the Silicon Valley companies whose tools and platforms have become the primary means for government forces to incite hatred against vulnerable minorities and critics – and for police to ensnare peaceful activists like Ravi in a hi-tech digital web.

The case against Ravi and her “co-conspirators” hinges entirely on routine uses of well-known digital tools: WhatsApp groups, a collectively edited Google Doc, a private Zoom meeting and several high-profile tweets, all of which have been weaponised into key pieces of alleged evidence in a state-sponsored and media-amplified activist hunt. At the same time, these very tools have been used in a coordinated pro-government messaging campaign to turn public sentiment against the young activists and the movement of farmers they came together to support, often in clear violation of the guardrails social media companies claim to have erected to prevent violent incitement on their platforms.

In a country where online hatred has tipped with chilling frequency into real-world pogroms targeting women and minorities, human rights advocates are warning that India is on the knife-edge of terrible violence, perhaps even the kind of genocidal bloodshed that social media aided and abetted against the Rohingya in Myanmar.

Through it all, the giants of Silicon Valley have stayed conspicuously silent. Their famed devotion to free expression, as well as their newfound commitment to battling hate speech and conspiracy theories, is, in India, nowhere to be found. In its place is a growing and chilling complicity with Modi’s information war, a collaboration that is poised to be locked in under a draconian new digital media law that will make it illegal for tech companies to refuse to cooperate with government requests to take down offending material or to breach the privacy of tech users. Complicity in human rights abuses, it seems, is the price of retaining access to the largest market of digital media users outside China.

After some early resistance from the company, Twitter accounts critical of the Modi government have disappeared in the hundreds without explanation; government officials engaging in bald incitement and overt hate speech on Twitter and Facebook have been permitted to continue in clear violation of the companies’ policies; and Delhi police boast that they are getting plenty of helpful cooperation from Google as they dig through the private communications of peaceful climate activists like Ravi.

“The silence of these companies speaks volumes,” a digital rights activist told me, requesting anonymity out of fear of retribution. “They have to take a stand, and they have to do it now.”

Referred to in the Indian press variously as the “toolkit case”, the “Greta toolkit”, and the “toolkit conspiracy”, the police’s ongoing investigation of Ravi, along with fellow activists Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk, centres on the contents of a social media guide that Thunberg tweeted to her nearly 5 million followers in early February. When Ravi was arrested, the Delhi police declared that she “is an editor of the Toolkit Google Doc & key conspirator in document’s formulation & dissemination. She started WhatsApp Group & collaborated to make the Toolkit doc. She worked closely with them to draft the Doc.”

The kit was nothing more than a Google Doc put together by an ad hoc collection of activists in India and the diaspora designed to generate support for the movement of farmers that has been staging enormous and relentless protests for months.

The farmers oppose a set of new agricultural laws that Modi’s government rushed through under the cover of the coronavirus pandemic. At the heart of the protests is the belief that by doing away with longtime price protections for crops and opening up the agricultural sector to more private investment, small farmers will face a “death warrant”, and India’s fertile lands will fall into the hands of a few large corporate players.

Many non-farmers have looked for ways to help, in India and in the global south-Asian diaspora, as well as more broadly. The youth-led climate movement felt a particular responsibility to step up. As Ravi said in court, she supports the farmers “because they are our future, and we all need to eat”. And she has also pointed to a climate connection. Drought, heatwaves and flooding have all grown more intense in recent years, and India’s farmers are on the frontlines of these climate impacts, often losing their crops and livelihoods, experiences Ravi knows about first-hand from witnessing her farmer grandparents struggle with weather extremes.

Much like countless such documents of the digital organising age, the toolkit at the centre of this controversy contains a buffet of familiar suggestions for how people can express their solidarity with India’s farmers, mainly on social media. “Tweet your support to the Indian Farmers. Use hashtag #FarmersProtest #StandWithFarmers”; take a picture or a video of yourself saying you support the farmers; sign a petition; write to your representative; participate in a “tweetstorm” or “digital strike”; attend one of the protests in person, whether inside India or at an Indian embassy in your country; learn more by attending a Zoom information session. An early version of the document (soon deleted) talked about challenging India’s peace-and-love, or “yoga & chai”, public image.

Pretty much every major activist campaign generates “clicktivist” how-to guides exactly like this one. Most mid-sized nongovernmental organisations have someone whose job it is to draft such documents and send them to potential supporters and “influencers”. If they are illegal, then contemporary activism itself is illegal. By arresting and imprisoning Ravi for an alleged role as an editor of the toolkit, she is in essence being criminalised for making India look bad in front of the world. Under that definition, all international human rights work would need to be shut down, since that work rarely presents governments in a flattering light.

This point was made forcefully by the judge who ruled on Ravi’s bail: “Citizens are conscience keepers of government in any democratic Nation. They cannot be put behind the bars simply because they choose to disagree with the state policies,” he wrote. As for sharing the toolkit with Thunberg, “the freedom of speech and expression includes the right to seek a global audience”.

This seems obvious. Yet somehow this most benign of documents has been latched on to by multiple government officials as something far more nefarious. Gen VK Singh, Modi’s minister of state for road transport and highways, wrote in a Facebook post that the toolkit “revealed the real designs of a conspiracy at an international level against India. Need to investigate the parties which are pulling the strings of this evil machinery. Instructions were laid out clearly as to the ‘how’, ‘when’ and ‘what’. Conspiracies at this scale often get exposed.”

The Delhi police quickly took its cue and set out to find evidence of this international conspiracy to “defame the country” and undermine the government, using a draconian colonial-era sedition law. But it didn’t stop there. The toolkit also stands accused of being part of a secret plot to break India apart and form a Sikh state called Khalistan (more sedition), because a Vancouver-based Indo-Canadian who helped put it together has expressed some sympathy for the idea of an independent Sikh homeland (not a crime and nowhere mentioned in the toolkit). And remarkably, for one Google Doc that the police claim was mainly written in Canada, this same toolkit stands accused of inciting and possibly plotting violence at a large farmers’ “tractor rally” in Delhi on 26 January.

For weeks, these claims have gone viral online, much of it under coordinated hashtag campaigns spearheaded by India’s Ministry of External Affairs and faithfully echoed by top Bollywood and cricket stars. Anil Vij, a government minister in the state of Haryana, tweeted in Hindi that “Whoever has seeds of anti-nationalism in their mind has to be destroyed from the roots, be it #Disha_Ravi or anyone else.” Challenged as an obvious example of hate speech by a powerful figure, Twitter claimed that the post did not violate its policies and left it up.

Indian print and broadcast media has relentlessly echoed the preposterous charges of sedition, with well more than 100 stories about Ravi and the toolkit appearing in the Times of India alone. Television news shows have run crime-stopper-style exposés of the international toolkit “conspiracy.” Not surprisingly, the rage has spilled out into the streets, with photos of Thunberg and Rihanna (who also tweeted in support of the farmers) burned at nationalist rallies.

Modi himself has even weighed in, speaking of enemies who have “stooped so low that they are not sparing even Indian tea” – widely taken as a reference to the deleted “yoga & chai” line.

And then, last month, the whole frothy mess seemed to fall flat. Rana, in his order releasing Ravi, wrote that “perusal of the said ‘Toolkit’ reveals that any call for any kind of violence is conspicuously absent”. The claim that the kit was a secessionist plot was also entirely unproven, he wrote, an elaborate guilt-by-association inference.

As for the charge that disseminating critical information about India’s treatment of farmers and human rights defenders to prominent activists like Thunberg constitutes “sedition”, the judge was particularly harsh. “The offence of sedition cannot be invoked to minister to the wounded vanity of the governments.”

The case is ongoing, but the ruling represents a major blow to the government and a vindication for the farmer’s movement and the solidarity campaigns supporting them. However, it is hardly a victory. Even if the toolkit case loses steam as a result of the judge’s slapdown, it is just one of hundreds of campaigns that the Indian government is waging to hunt down activists, organisers and journalists. The labour organiser Nodeep Kaur, one year older than Ravi, was also jailed for her support of the farmers. Just released on bail, Kaur claimed in court that she had been badly beaten while in police custody. Meanwhile, hundreds of farmers remain behind bars and some of those arrested have disappeared.

The real threat that the toolkit represented to Modi and the ruling Bharatiya Janata party, or BJP, was always, at root, about the power of the farmers’ movement. Modi’s political project represents a powerful merger of unleashed Hindu chauvinism with highly concentrated corporate power. The farmers challenge that dual project, both in their insistence that food should stay outside market logics and in the movement’s proven ability to build power across the religious, ethnic and geographic divisions that are the lifeblood of Modi’s rise to power.



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 from The Intercept


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google benefits google...

Google Australia pays pitifully tiny tax for its size – just $100 million last year despite booking $4.8 billion locally in advertising revenue. Yet now Google claims that its value to Australia is more than $50 billion and it is responsible for 280,000 jobs although it merely employs 1800 people. In an excoriating paper, a senior research fellow at the Australia Institute, David Richardson, has torn apart Google Australia for vastly overstating the importance of Google Australia.


In the leadup to the fight over the news bargaining code Google presented a submission to the Senate Committee. Google, attempting to fend off the new laws, outlined its critical importance to Australia’s operations. The submission drew on a consultancy report commissioned by Google and prepared by consulting firm AlphaBeta (2021).

Google’s claims are utterly misleading. This article is based on a paper written by The Australia Institute’s senior research fellow David Richardson, called “Google’s assessment of Google”.

Google claims that it creates $14 billion of benefit for consumers and some $39 billion of benefit for business. “Net advertising benefits for advertisers” is estimated at $31.7 billion, with employee searches, Google Maps, Google Play, AdSense, and Ad Grants bringing the total to $39 billion. That’s an extraordinary amount of money.

It is no small irony that during the argy-bargy that preceded Google paying money to select media such as News Corp, Nine, Guardian and Seven Media, its corporate assailants had also made ludicrous claims. News Corp reckoned Google owed it $1 billion and Peter Costello at Nine said Google should pay Nine $500 million.

Moreover, the central contention of the old media publishers – that Google and Facebook stole their content – was entirely false. In fact, Google and Facebook effectively advertised for them for free, showcasing small excerpts and links to their paywalled websites.

Still, a closer look illuminates that Google relied on dubious and ultimately disingenuous assumptions to arrive at these numbers.

First, the report assumes that if Google were not in Australia, there would be nothing in its place. As Richardson notes, this is completely unrealistic.

Bing, DuckDuckGo and Ecosia – while  not used as ubiquitously as Google – are attracting more users every day.

Tucked away in the methodology section of the report is the sentence that admits to this sleight of hand:

“These benefits also do not account for activity that may have been displaced by Google, nor attempt to estimate the incremental impact of Google on the Australian economy beyond what would be the case if Google didn’t exist but other companies like it did.”

As Richardson notes:

“It admits that it has not really examined the benefits of Google itself but what Australia would look like if Google was not there and nothing replaced it.”

The fact is that other search engines do exist. Note how quickly Microsoft, owners of Bing, swooped in to claim they could replace Google.



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