Australian Government Arm Looks to Assess Social Media Algorithms

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has recommended the formation of a new branch to examine how the biggest social media companies’ algorithms serve ads. 

It now faces a 12-week consultation on its proposals, after which it can move to establish such a team.

The news comes after the regulator released the results of its Digital Platforms Inquiry. In a 600-page report, regulators considered the impact of technologies including search engines, social media platforms and digital content aggregators on journalism, advertising and other online media.

The ACCC claims Facebook and Google, among others, have made it more difficult for brands to compete on merit. 

The tech giants have also caused problems for news media outlets, making it more difficult for them to monetise.

Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg said: “These companies are among the most powerful and valuable in the world. They need to be held to account and their activities need to be more transparent.”

ACCC Chair Rod Sims also released a statement: “Our recommendations are comprehensive and forward looking and deal with the many competition, consumer, privacy and news media issues we have identified throughout the course of this Inquiry.

“Importantly, our recommendations are dynamic in that they will provide the framework and the information that governments and communities will need to address further issues as they arise. Our goal is to assist the community in staying up to date with these issues and futureproofing our enforcement, regulatory and legal frameworks.” 

In 2018, the Australian Government took steps towards accessing encrypted messages.

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Scott Harvey

Scott is the Editor of Global Dating Insights. Raised in Dorset, he holds a BA from The University of Nottingham and an MSc from Lund University School of Economics and Management. Previously he has written about politics, economics and technology for various online publications.

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