According to recent reports, Australia may have its search engine shut down by Google in the coming days. Google officials have revealed that it may happen if a controversial bill ends up becoming a law. The bill has been proposed with the aim that the news media can benefit from it.
The announcement was made by the Managing Director of Google in Australia, Mel Silva during a Senate hearing at Canberra. The hearing between the Senate and the Google Managing Direct took place on January 22, 2021.
While at the hearing, Silva shared his concerns over the new legislation currently being considered. She stated that the draft prepared for the legislation is somewhat unworkable. If passed, it would end up causing an interruption and hindrance to the ways how millions of people search online content through the platforms.
Silva made it clear that in the event this legislation gets passed and implemented, Google will have to make a harsh decision. She stated that Google will have to pull the plug for the users in Australia and the Google search engine would no longer be available for Australians.
Silva stated that if Google has to take the step of shutting down search for Australia, it will behave a bad impact on many entities. She stated that doing so will not only prove to be a bad decision for them but for the Australian people, small businesses, and media diversity. These are the major entities in Australia that are currently using Google search at great lengths.
The Google Managing Director for Australia communicated the main concern the Google platform has with the new legislation. According to the new legislation, the Australian users will be required to make payments in order to acquire snippets and links for search results for the “News” section.
However, Google’s policy is to provide all of its users the ability to search for any content through their platform for free. Silva stated that their platform has always give users the ability to search for whatever they want without any restrictions or payments.
This is exactly how Google wants to keep things for the Australian citizens by giving them the freedom to search content without any difficulties. If the Australian legislation requires payments for news searches then Google will do what it thinks is the right decision.
This is not the first time Google has been demanded to impose payment requirements on the users for performing searches. In the past, Google and Facebook both have faced a lot of pressure from media companies wanting to be paid for the searches done through their platforms.
However, both companies have no plans of giving-in to the pressure that has been exerted by such entities on the platforms.