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Digital Media Platforms and Regulation in Australia

G_FB_AUGoogle, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and other large digital media platforms and companies are all headquartered outside of Australia and yet are used widely by Australians and play a significant part in the way Australians communicate, consume content, socialise and stay informed. I am particularly interested in the way these platforms and companies are localised in Australia (ie how the Australian use and experience is specific to Australia) and how Australia is approaching questions of local regulation to shape the Australian operation and experience of these platforms and companies. I’ve been particularly focused on the design, debates and fallout from the Australian News Media Bargaining Code (which was legislated in early March 2021), and the other inquiries and legislation coming from the 2019 Australian Digital Platforms Inquiry.


Bossio, D., Flew, T., Meese, J., Leaver, T., & Barnet, B. (2022). Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code and the global turn towards platform regulation. Policy & Internet, https://doi.org/10.1002/poi3.284

Leaver, T. (2021). Going Dark: How Google and Facebook Fought the Australian News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code. M/C Journal, 24(2), Article 2. https://doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2774

Leaver, T. (2021, January 21). Web’s inventor says news media bargaining code could break the internet. He’s right—But there’s a fix. The Conversation. http://theconversation.com/webs-inventor-says-news-media-bargaining-code-could-break-the-internet-hes-right-but-theres-a-fix-153630

Leaver, T. (2020, 2 October) Facebook is merging Messenger and Instagram chat features. It’s for Zuckerberg’s benefit, not yours, The Conversationhttps://theconversation.com/facebook-is-merging-messenger-and-instagram-chat-features-its-for-zuckerbergs-benefit-not-yours-147261

Leaver, T. (2017, December 28). Facebook hoping Messenger Kids will draw future users, and their data. ABC News. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-28/messenger-kids-is-facebooks-strategy-video-messeging-app-google/9285530?section=analysis

Leaver, T. (2013). Selling an Australian Cinderella? YouTube Stories. In T. Dalziell & P. Genoni (Eds.), Telling Stories: Australian Life and  Literature 1935–2012 (pp. 573–578). Monash University Publishing. http://publishing.monash.edu/books/ts-9781921867460.html

Talks & Conference Proceedings

Bruns, A., Bailo, F., Meese, J., Hurcombe, E., Leaver, T., Barnet, B., & Angus, D. (2021). Australia’s Big Gamble: The News Media Bargaining Code and Responses from Google and Facebook. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2021i0.12091 [Video: https://youtu.be/holMZ4zqsXA?t=215]

Hendry, N. A., Tiidenberg, K., Abidin, C., Kaye, D. B. V., Zeng, J., Wikstrom, P., Bucher, T., Highfield, T., Leaver, T.,Qiu, J. L. (2021). Platform Specificites: The Platform Book Panel. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2021i0.12115 [Video: https://youtu.be/V6LdbC5FOr8]

Leaver, T. (2021) Facebook’s News Code PR Battle in Australia and Beyond, in the Regulating Facebook Webinar, Social Innovation Research Institute, Chair by Diana Bossio (also featuring Belinda Barnett, Terry Flew and James Meese). Zoom/Swinburne University, 5 May 2021. [Invited talk.] https://youtu.be/WsYAzH-dk-s?t=975

Leaver, T. (2017, April 19)  The Will to App: digitising public health, Public Panel, UNSW Media Research Network, Sydney, 4pm, 19 April 2017. [Invited speaker.]

Leaver, T. (2017, April 19) Solving Parenthood? Apps, Infant Wearables & Digital Solutionism, The Will to App Symposium, UNSW Sydney. [Invited paper.]

Leaver, T. (2017, April 7). Saving the Dead: Digital Legacy Planning and Posthumous Profiles, John Curtin Institute for Public Policy, Curtin Corner, Perth,  http://www.slideshare.net/Tama/saving-the-dead-digital-legacy-planning-posthumous-profiles


Leaver, T. Interviewed by Geeta Guru-murthy, Elon Musk, Twitter and the  Declaration for the Future of the Internet Impact, BBC World News, 29 April 2022, 1.44pm (UK). [TV] https://youtu.be/S05fmA3F3Cw

Leaver, T. Interviewed in Ricardo Gonçalves, Is Netflix About to Stop Password Sharing, SBS On The Money, 20 April 2022. https://www.sbs.com.au/news/podcast-episode/sbs-on-the-money-is-netflix-about-to-stop-password-sharing/4h8msturx [Podcast] [Vodcast]

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Richelle Harrison Plesse, Netflix stocks plunge as subscribers ditch the platform, SBS World News, 20 April 2022, 7.10pm. [TV] https://youtu.be/rHTPtZad3lA

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Lisa Owen, Musk Buys Twitter, Checkpoint, Radio NZ, 5 April 2022, 6.25pm [NZ].[Radio]

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Matt Bamford, Elon Musk buys into the Twitterverse, The World Today, ABC Radio News, 5 April 2022, https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/worldtoday/elon-musk-buys-into-the-twitterverse/13828014

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Josh Szeps, Defamation, Platforms and Publishers, Afternoons, ABC Sydney, 24 March 2022, 3.11pm. [Radio]

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Geoff Hutchison, ACCC Vs Facebook Scam Ads, Drive, ABC Radio Perth, 18 March 2022, 5.52pm. [Radio]

Leaver, T. Interviewed in James Purtill, Australians are spending less time on Facebook and much, much more on TikTok, ABC News, 11 February 2022. https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2022-02-11/facebook-australians-spending-less-time-and-more-on-tik-tok/100820954

Leaver, T. Interviewed in Sezen Bakan, ‘Unprecedented moment’: Why Facebook is declining and what it means for social media, The New Daily, 4 February 2022. https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/2022/02/04/facebook-social-media-future/

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Matthew Bamford, Facebook Shares Tumble, ABC Radio Sydney, PM, 4 February 2022, 6.55pm. https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/pm/tough-questions-for-facebook/13741892 [Radio]

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Scott Wales, Forrest Sues Facebook, Drive, ABC News Radio, 3 February 2022, 4.35pm. [Radio] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-02-03/facebook-more-unwilling-than-unable-to-remove-scam/13740170

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Nadia Mitsopoulos, Andrew Forrest Vs Facebook, Mornings, ABC Perth Radio, 3 February 2022, 10.07am. [Radio]

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Tod Johnston, Spotify Vs Neil Young, The Nightshift, 6PR 882, 31 January 2022, 8.38pm. [Radio]

Leaver, T. Interviewed in James Purtill, Facebook’s terrible 2021: Will a year of scandal be the catalyst for regulation?, ABC Science, 21 December 2021. https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2021-12-21/facebook-year-in-review-2021-annus-horribilis-laws-regulation/100683410

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Rhett Burnie, MySA Gov Hack, The World Today, Radio National, 5 November 2011, 1.21pm.  https://abc.net.au/radio/programs/worldtoday/the-world-today/13610028 [Radio]

Leaver, T. Interviewed in Josh Butler, ‘Huge privacy risks’ in social media age verification plan for Facebook, Spotify, The New Daily, 26 October 2021. https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2021/10/25/social-media-age-verification-plan/

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Andrew Collins, New Privacy Bill, ABC Statewide Drive, ABC SouthWest Radio, 25 October 2021, 4.39pm. [Radio]

Leaver, T. Interviewed in Paul Smith and Miranda Ward, Tech giants’ ‘laughable’ disinformation solution slammed, Australian Financial Review, 12 October 2021, p. 21,  https://www.afr.com/technology/tech-giants-laughable-disinformation-solution-slammed-20211010-p58ys8

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Cassie McCullagh, Digital Birth Certificates, Focus, ABC Radio Sydney, 28 April 2021, 10.50am. https://www.abc.net.au/radio/sydney/programs/focus/focus/13312836 [Radio]

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Jeff Bullen, TikTok and Children’s Data, On the Record, RTRFM, 27 April 2021, 9.20am. [Radio]

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Catalina Flórez, TikTok Lawsuit, SBS World News, 22 April 2021, 7.14pm. [TV]

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Anna Moulder, TikTok Kids Lawsuits & Instagram Modifications, ABC Radio NSW, Statewide Drive, 22 April 2021, 4.39pm. [Radio]

Leaver, T. Interviewed in Keane Bourke, Labor and Liberal parties criticised for running WA election online ads without disclosing links, ABC News, 9 March 2021. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-03-09/labor-liberal-parties-criticised-for-wa-election-online-ads/13209172 

Leaver, T. Interviewed in Salil Tripathi, Australia’s prime time battle against big tech, Mint, 9 March 2021. https://www.livemint.com/industry/australias-prime-time-battle-against-big-tech-11615218843974.html

Leaver, T. Interviewed in James Purtill, Facebook thinks it won the battle of the media bargaining code — but so does the government, ABC News, 26 February 2021. https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2021-02-26/facebook-google-who-won-battle-news-media-bargaining-code/13193106

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Holly Stearnes, The Aftermath of the Facebook News Ban, Ticker News, 24 February 2021, 3.09pm. [TV] https://youtu.be/oeA6Xh-O6j4 

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Dawn Tan and Steve Lai, Facebook Strikes a Deal for News in Australia, Channel News Asia, Asia Tonight, 23 February 2021, 8.42pm. [TV] https://youtu.be/FrCi70OUEro 

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Tod Johnson, Facebook Vs Australia: Who Won?, 6PR 882, The Nightshift, 23 February 2021, 8.21pm. [Radio]

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Sumi Somaskanda, News Returns to Facebook in Australia, DW News, Deutsche Welle, 23 February 2021, 12.19pm [German time]. [TV] https://youtu.be/EQwheuMt2tg 

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Folly Bah Thibault, Facebook and Australia’s Bargaining Code, Al Jazeera, Newshour, 23 February 2021, 6.26pm. [TV] https://youtu.be/93FGsnX4QRU 

Leaver, T. Interviewed in Reuters, Facebook ‘refriends’ Australia after changes to media laws, Asia One, 23 February 2021. https://www.asiaone.com/digital/facebook-refriends-australia-after-changes-media-laws 

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Geoff Hutchison, News Returns to Facebook, ABC Perth Radio, Drive, 23 February 2021, 5.11pm. [Radio]

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Andrew Collins, Facebook’s Back, Statewide Drive, ABC NorthWest Radio, 23 February 2021, 4.14pm. [Radio]

Leaver, T. Interviewed in Margi Murphy, Countries around the world set to follow Australia in charging tech giants for news, The Telegraph [UK], 23 February 2021, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2021/02/23/countries-around-world-set-follow-australia-charging-tech-giants/   (also https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/countries-around-world-set-australia-004633717.html  )

Leaver, T. Interviewed in Eliza Laschon, WA election: Social media is shaping the campaign in unexpected ways, ABC News, 21 February 2021. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-21/social-media-shapes-wa-election-campaign-amid-facebook-battle/13174280

Leaver, T. Interviewed in Laura Newell, Have Their Cake and Eat It Too, The West Australian, 20 February 2021, p. 132. [PDF] https://thewest.com.au/technology/facebook/is-facebook-a-publisher-or-a-platform-how-one-word-allows-tech-giants-to-have-their-cake-and-eat-it-too-ng-b881801298z 

Leaver, T. Quoted in Barbara Ortutay and Tali Arbel, Facebook makes a power move in Australia – and may regret it, AP News, 19 February 2021. https://apnews.com/article/business-lawsuits-australia-mark-zuckerberg-e0b545d3ba541c2de8389c6bd0a6f23f 

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Geoff Hutchison, The Future of News After Facebook?, Drive, ABC Perth Radio, 19 February 2021, 4.38pm. [Radio]

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Terry Martin, Facebook’s News Ban in Australia, Deutsche Welle, DW News, 19 February 2021, 8.20am. (German time.) [TV] https://youtu.be/hEolHVkTFr0 

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Leon Delaney, Facebook’s News Ban, 2CC Talking Canberra, Canberra Live, 19 February 2021, 4.08pm. [Radio]

Leaver, T. Interviewed in Samantha Dick and Cait Kelly, Australians urged to break up with Facebook over news blockade, The New Daily, 19 February 2021, https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2021/02/19/facebook-australia-news-break-up/ 

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Danielle Le Messurier, New face of success, The West Australian, 19 February 2021, p.11. https://thewest.com.au/technology/facebook/experts-say-facebooks-ban-on-news-media-will-see-instagram-linkedin-and-tiktok-grow-ng-b881800460z 

Leaver, T. Quoted in Adam Schrader and Henry Martin, World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee says Australian law that would force Facebook and other tech giants to pay media companies would make internet ‘unworkable’, Daily Mail Australia, 19 February 2021, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9276511/World-Wide-Web-inventor-Tim-Berners-Lee-says-Australian-media-pay-law-make-internet-unworkable.html 

Leaver, T. Interviewed in Ekaterina Blinova, Facebook blocks access to news sites in Australia, Sputnik News, 18 February 2021, https://sputniknews.com/asia/202102181082117312-facebook-has-overacted-by-banning-aussie-news-risks-losing-users-observers-say/ 

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Phil Gayle, Facebook blocks access to news sites in Australia, DW News, Deutsche Welle,  18 February 2021, 3:04 pm (German time). [TV] https://youtu.be/jHkRL7ZUIog

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Jordan Cutts, Facebook’s News Ban, Channel 7, 7 News, 18 February 2021, 6.05pm. [TV]

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Natasha Gillezeau, Who makes the rules? Facebook blocking news an ‘inflexion point’, Financial Review, 18 February 2021. https://www.afr.com/technology/who-makes-the-rules-facebook-blocking-news-an-inflexion-point-20210218-p573nv 

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Holly Stearnes, No News on Facebook, Ticker News, 18 February 2021, 4.12pm. [TV] https://youtu.be/jqnChqyzPqU 

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Jenny Seaton, Facebook’s Australian News Ban, Curtin FM, Afternoons, 18 February 2021, 2.42pm. [Radio]

Leaver, T. Interviewed in Eden Gillespie, Young Aussies Some of the Hardest Hit by FB’s News Restrictions, Experts Say, SBS News, The Feed, 18 February 2021, https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-feed/young-aussies-some-of-the-hardest-hit-by-fb-s-news-restrictions-experts-say 

Leaver, T. Interviewed in Yen Nee Lee and Saheli Roy Choudhury, ‘Facebook was wrong’: Australia’s treasurer slams social media giant’s move to block news, CNBC, 18 February 2021. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/18/australias-treasurer-says-facebook-was-wrong-to-block-news-content.html

Leaver, T. Interviewed in Evelyn Manfield, Facebook Australian news ban hits WA election campaign as Opposition Leader Zak Kirkup’s page wiped, Premier’s untouched, ABC News, 18 February 2021. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-18/facebook-australian-news-ban-hits-wa-election-campaign/13166738 

Leaver, T. Interviewed in Jack Gramenz, Facebook news ban ‘backfired dramatically’ say Curtin Uni, Monash experts, Herald Sun, 18 February 2021, https://www.heraldsun.com.au/technology/facebook-news-ban-backfired-dramatically-say-curtin-uni-monash-experts/news-story/b8dd4d34f12b0f4aaeba8a9b8d8cd568 

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Danae Gibson, Facebook Bans Australian News, On The Record, RTRFM, 18 February 2021, 10.29am. [Radio]

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Amanda Drury and Tanvir Gill, Facebook has lost the ‘PR battle’ in Australia, says professor, Street Signs Asia, CNBC, 18 February 2021, 10.05am. [TV] https://www.cnbc.com/video/2021/02/18/facebook-has-lost-the-pr-battle-in-australia-says-professor.html

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Nadia Mitsopoulos, Facebook Deletes News, Mornings, ABC Radio Perth, 18 February 2021, 8.34am. [Radio]

Leaver, T. Interviewed in Damien Cave, Google Is Suddenly Paying for News in Australia. What About Everywhere Else?, The New York Times, 17 February 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/17/business/media/australia-google-pay-for-news.html

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Philip Clark, Nightlife, Radio National & ABC Radio, Sydney (and across Australia), 17 February 2021, 7pm. https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/nightlife/news-media-bargaining-code/13165588 [Radio]

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Karina Carvalho, ABC News 24, 17 February 2021, 6.38pm. [TV] https://youtu.be/GYEJ8TKHbX4 

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Mike Crichton, Goole’s Media Deals, Weekdays with Mike, 98.5 Sonshine FM, 17 February 2021, 11.46am. [Radio]

Leaver, T. Interviewed regarding the Google and Seven West Media deal, 2SM, New South Wales, 16 February 2021, 6pm. [Radio]

Leaver, T. Quoted in Mariam Cheik-Hussein, Explainer – The arguments against the news media bargaining code and what happens next, Ad News, 1 February 2021. http://www.adnews.com.au/news/explainer-the-arguments-against-the-news-media-bargaining-code-and-what-happens-next 

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Sonya Feldhoff, Life Without Google, ABC Radio Adelaide, Early Afternoons, 29 January 2021, 1.56pm. [Radio]

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Liam Bartlett, ACCC Digital Advertising Services Inquiry, 6PR 882, 6PR Mornings, 28 January 2021, 1036am. [Radio]

Leaver, T. Interviewed in Peter Vincent, Why internet search and social would barely miss a beat if Google and Facebook carried through with their threats to pull out of Australia so they don’t have to pay for news… with plenty lining up to replace them, Daily Mail Australia, 25 January 2021. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9182687/Facebook-Google-threat-pull-Australia-news-laws-affect-have.html

Leaver, T. Quoted in Damien Cave, An Australia With No Google? The Bitter Fight Behind a Drastic Threat, New York Times, 22 January 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/22/business/australia-google-facebook-news-media.html.

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Karina Carvalho, Google’s Threat to Leave Australia, ABC News 24, ABC Evening News, 22 January 20201, 7.35pm (Sydney). [TV] https://youtu.be/H3zY9hws20s 

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Geoff Hutchison, Australian Without Google?, ABC Radio Perth, Drive, 22 January 2021, 3.45pm. [Radio]

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Josh Szeps, Australia’s Digital Bargaining Code, ABC Radio Sydney, Drive, 22 January 2021, 4.05pm. [Radio]

Leaver, T. Interviewed by Anna Vidot, Australia’s Media Bargaining Code, ABC Canberra, Drive, 21 January 2021, 4.40pm. [Radio]

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