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Tech Giants Google And Facebook Face Greater Scrutiny in Australia

In a report, the ACCC argued that the dominance of platforms like Facebook and Google -- who derive a vast majority of their revenue from advertising -- demands increased regulatory oversight

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Google comes up with a new feature

Flagging lack of transparency around the algorithms that Google and Facebook use to display ads and news, Australia’s consumer watchdog has said that the tech giants need to be monitored closely so that they do not abuse their power.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has recommended a mechanism for monitoring how the major tech companies rank and display ads and news content, News.com.au reported on Monday.

The task for monitoring and reporting the activities of the tech giants should be given to a new or existing regulatory authority, the watchdog said, adding that these measures are necessary to prevent the powerful companies from harming the country’s media and digital advertising industries.

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A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

In a report, the ACCC argued that the dominance of platforms like Facebook and Google — who derive a vast majority of their revenue from advertising — demands increased regulatory oversight.

“Australian law does not prohibit a business from possessing significant market power or using its efficiencies or skills to ‘out compete’ its rivals,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims was quoted as saying by News.com.au.

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“But when their dominant position is at risk of creating competitive or consumer harm, governments should stay ahead of the game and act to protect consumers and businesses through regulation,” Sims added. (IANS)

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Facebook Bans Conservative News Outlet from Buying Ads on Its Platform for Violating Its Policies

Over the past year, we removed accounts associated with The Epoch Times for violating our ad policies

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The Epoch Times spent $2 million on Facebook ads supporting Trump and conspiracy theories about his political enemies, The NBC News reported on Friday. Pixabay

Facebook has banned conservative news outlet and US President Donald Trump supporter The Epoch Times from buying ads on its platform for violating its policies.

The Epoch Times spent $2 million on Facebook ads supporting Trump and conspiracy theories about his political enemies, The NBC News reported on Friday.

“Over the past year, we removed accounts associated with The Epoch Times for violating our ad policies, including trying to get around our review systems. We acted on additional accounts today and they are no longer able to advertise with us,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

The Epoch Times pushed ads under names such as “Honest Paper” and “Pure American Journalism”, bypassing Facebook’s political advertising transparency rules.

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Facebook has banned conservative news outlet and US President Donald Trump supporter The Epoch Times from buying ads on its platform for violating its policies. Pixabay

A recent NBC News probe revealed how The Epoch Times had evolved from a non-profit newspaper “into a conservative online news behemoth that embraced President Donald Trump and conspiracy content”.

Since 2016, The Epoch Times’ revenue more than doubled, and the reach of its online content zoomed past that of every other news organisation, attracting billions of views across its platforms.

The news outlet spent $1.5 million on more than 11,000 Trump-friendly Facebook ads within the last year.

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Journalist Judd Legum spotted for the first time how several ads from The Epoch Times were in violation of Facebook’s policies. (IANS)