Transparency of online content met with backlash

With many believing that online content is the way of the future, it came as a surprise when attempts to monitor the algorithms of large digital platforms was met with a significant backlash from big online players. Their strong response has many people wondering, what are these platforms trying to hide?

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) first suggested the new action in December of last year. The suggestion encompassed a shift to transparency in the online sector, giving consumers and businesses a clearer understanding of the distribution of content. The suggested algorithm would monitor. Investigate and report on the criteria and commercial arrangements which are used by digital platforms to impact the ranking and displaying of content.

Facebook and Google were the initial targets for this new algorithm, but rather than embracing the ACCC’s latest proposal, they met it with hostility.

While the ACCC has called for transparency of the distribution of online content, platform providers have been committed to keeping their methods in the dark. This has ignited discussion around the actual effectiveness of paid online content, as companies’ true price-per-contact is being bought into question. Is online still the most effective form of marketing for businesses?