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Facebook snubs SBS, The Conversation on content deals – Sydney Morning Herald

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Social media giant Facebook has shot down requests to negotiate content deals with multicultural broadcaster SBS and not-for-profit online publication The Conversation without providing any specific reasons for its refusal.

Both organisations have been trying to secure payment for the use of their content on the US$1.1 trillion online platform for months, but were told several weeks ago that no negotiations would take place, and no deals would be done.

Facebook has told two key local news outlets they will not negotiate for use of content.

Facebook has told two key local news outlets they will not negotiate for use of content.Credit:Matt Rourke

“SBS is surprised and disappointed that Facebook has declined to enter negotiations to seek a commercial agreement with SBS in relation to its news content,” an SBS spokesperson said.

“We are concerned about the impact on our audiences and discoverability of SBS content on the Facebook platform, noting that many of our audiences access SBS through Facebook. This outcome is at odds with the Government’s intention of supporting public interest journalism, and in particular including the public service broadcasters in the Code framework with respect to remuneration.”

The Conversation’s chief executive Lisa Watts said the refusal was an indication that Facebook was doing the bare minimum to ensure the government did not scrutinise it.

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“I think they’ve just sought to avoid arbitration by sealing several multimillion dollar deals with major influential media companies and feel they’ve done enough to avoid it,” Ms Watts said.

The federal government’s news media bargaining code was legislated in February and was designed to force Google and Facebook into commercial talks with large and small news media companies for the use of articles in the search engine and newsfeed.

Under the laws, the tech giants can be slapped with financial penalties for failing to comply. However, because of concessions made by the federal government to ensure Facebook kept news on its platform and Google did not withdraw search from the market altogether, the laws do not currently apply to either of the tech giants.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will decide early next year whether the laws should apply to Facebook and Google, based on their efforts to secure deals.

Facebook has signed deals with a range of large-scale and small outlets, including News Corp Australia, Nine Entertainment Co (owner of this masthead), the ABC, Guardian Australia and Junkee Media. Google has done the same, but has also struck deals with SBS and The Conversation. Ms Watts described the process with Google as “collegiate” and in the “spirit of the code”.

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She said she was surprised by the complete refusal of Facebook to negotiate, after months of assurance that they would be able to start talks. She added the absence of reasons for the refusal was also confusing. The Conversation, which publishes articles from academic authors, has about 9.4 million unique users each month, based on data from Google Analytics.

SBS managing director James Taylor was also informed Facebook would not negotiate.

SBS managing director James Taylor was also informed Facebook would not negotiate.Credit:Nick Moir

“We’ve had a very positive relationship with Facebook over the last few years,” Ms Watts said. “But then when we finally got a chance to have a recent meeting, they basically just wouldn’t give a reason [to refuse negotiations]. They just said ‘we had to draw a line somewhere’.”

“One would assume that they’ve looked at The Conversation and SBS, and for whatever reason thought that there’s not enough political kind of interest in supporting them,” she added.

“We publish about 300-400 pieces a month. That’s basically three or 400 leading experts or academics who are sharing their expertise with the Australian public. It’s important as often it is about correcting misinformation or falsehoods.”

The refusal came from Facebook’s local head of news partnerships, Andrew Hunter, and Facebook’s director of news partnerships for APAC, Anjali Kapoor.

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“[Facebook] just said ‘we had to draw a line somewhere’.”

The Conversation CEO Lisa Watts

SBS and The Conversation are the latest news outlets to be snubbed by Facebook’s after approaching it to discuss remuneration for their content. Popular lifestyle websites Broadsheet Media, The Urban List and Concrete Playground have previously said they could be forced to consolidate after Facebook shut down requests for funding to support their journalism.

Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg recently intervened in some negotiations between Facebook and small outlets after they were unable to reach an agreement. Mr Bragg has received just one response from five letters sent to Facebook executives over the past six months.

Senator Bragg said the least big tech companies like Facebook and Google could do was keep their promises.

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“Big tech companies can be impossible to deal with. It’s like trying to get Telecom to fix something in the 1990s. More regulation will be the consequence of inaction,” Mr Bragg told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. “Australia will reserve our right to further regulate big tech to fix these issues.”

Ms Watts said that without designation, there is nothing she or SBS executives can do about the refusal. “You’ve got no levers to pull,” she said. “If we could get designation by the Treasurer and go to an arbitrator… there’d be a panel and the position, and we would have an offer that would be accepted by that panel.

“I imagine that Facebook are betting that they can demonstrate through their existing deals with the people that they have negotiated with keen avoid that designation.”

Facebook has come under fierce scrutiny in the past week after a Wall Street Journal series that reviewed internal Facebook documents found the company is fully aware of the harm it causes. The New York Times reported this week chief executive Mark Zuckerberg last month signed off on a new initiative code-named Project Amplify, which uses Facebook’s news feed to show people positive stories about the social network.

Facebook could not respond before deadline.

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Updating Special Ad Audiences for housing, employment, and credit advertisers

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On June 21, 2022 we announced an important settlement with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that will change the way we deliver housing ads to people residing in the US. Specifically, we are building into our ads system a method designed to make sure the audience that ends up seeing a housing ad more closely reflects the eligible targeted audience for that ad.

As part of this agreement, we will also be sunsetting Special Ad Audiences, a tool that lets advertisers expand their audiences for ad sets related to housing. We are choosing to sunset this for employment and credit ads as well. In 2019, in addition to eliminating certain targeting options for housing, employment and credit ads, we introduced Special Ad Audiences as an alternative to Lookalike Audiences. But the field of fairness in machine learning is a dynamic and evolving one, and Special Ad Audiences was an early way to address concerns. Now, our focus will move to new approaches to improve fairness, including the method previously announced.

What’s happening: We’re removing the ability to create Special Ad Audiences via Ads Manager beginning on August 25, 2022.

Beginning October 12th, 2022, we will pause any remaining ad sets that contain Special Ad Audiences. These ad sets may be restarted once advertisers have removed any and all Special Ad Audiences from those ad sets. We are providing a two month window between preventing new Special Ad Audiences and pausing existing Special Ad Audiences to enable advertisers the time to adjust budgets and strategies as needed.

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For more details, please visit our Newsroom post.

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Impact to Advertisers using Marketing API on September 13, 2022

For advertisers and partners using the API listed below, the blocking of new Special Ad Audience creation will present a breaking change on all versions. Beginning August 15, 2022, developers can start to implement the code changes, and will have until September 13, 2022, when the non-versioning change occurs and prior values are deprecated. Refer below to the list of impacted endpoints related to this deprecation:

For reading audience:

  • endpoint gr:get:AdAccount/customaudiences
  • field operation_status

For adset creation:

  • endpoint gr:post:AdAccount/adsets
  • field subtype

For adset editing:

  • endpoint gr:post:AdCampaign
  • field subtype

For custom audience creation:

  • endpoint gr:post:AdAccount/customaudiences
  • field subtype

For custom audience editing:

  • endpoint gr:post:CustomAudience

Please refer to the developer documentation for further details to support code implementation.

First seen at developers.facebook.com

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Introducing an Update to the Data Protection Assessment

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Over the coming year, some apps with access to certain types of user data on our platforms will be required to complete the annual Data Protection Assessment. We have made a number of improvements to this process since our launch last year, when we introduced our first iteration of the assessment.

The updated Data Protection Assessment will include a new developer experience that is enhanced through streamlined communications, direct support, and clear status updates. Today, we’re sharing what you can expect from these new updates and how you can best prepare for completing this important privacy requirement if your app is within scope.

If your app is in scope for the Data Protection Assessment, and you’re an app admin, you’ll receive an email and a message in your app’s Alert Inbox when it’s time to complete the annual assessment. You and your team of experts will then have 60 calendar days to complete the assessment. We’ve built a new platform that enhances the user experience of completing the Data Protection Assessment. These updates to the platform are based on learnings over the past year from our partnership with the developer community. When completing the assessment, you can expect:

  • Streamlined communication: All communications and required actions will be through the My Apps page. You’ll be notified of pending communications requiring your response via your Alerts Inbox, email, and notifications in the My Apps page.

    Note: Other programs may still communicate with you through the App Contact Email.

  • Available support: Ability to engage with Meta teams via the Support tool to seek clarification on the questions within the Data Protection Assessment prior to submission and help with any requests for more info, or to resolve violations.

    Note: To access this feature, you will need to add the app and app admins to your Business Manager. Please refer to those links for step-by-step guides.

  • Clear status updates: Easy to understand status and timeline indicators throughout the process in the App Dashboard, App Settings, and My Apps page.
  • Straightforward reviewer follow-ups: Streamlined experience for any follow-ups from our reviewers, all via developers.facebook.com.

We’ve included a brief video that provides a walkthrough of the experience you’ll have with the Data Protection Assessment:

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The Data Protection Assessment elevates the importance of data security and helps gain the trust of the billions of people who use our products and services around the world. That’s why we are committed to providing a seamless experience for our partners as you complete this important privacy requirement.

Here is what you can do now to prepare for the assessment:

  1. Make sure you are reachable: Update your developer or business account contact email and notification settings.
  2. Review the questions in the Data Protection Assessment and engage with your teams on how best to answer these questions. You may have to enlist the help of your legal and information security points of contact to answer some parts of the assessment.
  3. Review Meta Platform Terms and our Developer Policies.

We know that when people choose to share their data, we’re able to work with the developer community to safely deliver rich and relevant experiences that create value for people and businesses. It’s a privilege we share when people grant us access to their data, and it’s imperative that we protect that data in order to maintain and build upon their trust. This is why the Data Protection Assessment focuses on data use, data sharing and data security.

Data privacy is challenging and complex, and we’re dedicated to continuously improving the processes to safeguard user privacy on our platform. Thank you for partnering with us as we continue to build a safer, more sustainable platform.

First seen at developers.facebook.com

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Resources for Completing App Store Data Practice Questionnaires for Apps That Include the Facebook or Audience Network SDK

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Resources for Completing App Store Data Practice Questionnaires for Apps That Include the Facebook or Audience Network SDK

First seen at developers.facebook.com

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