10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Good morning everyone,

Big Facebook news today. And by big, I mostly mean ‘a lot’. 17 news organisations reviewed Facebook documents leaked by whistleblower Frances Haugen. The organisations published a flurry of reports Monday based on those documents, known as the Facebook Papers. The topics range from Facebook’s fading popularity with teens to failures in addressing hate speech.

What have they revealed? For one: Facebook isn’t moderated equally in every country. The company reportedly divides countries into tiers to decide how moderation is handled per country. The US, India, and Brazil are all given highest priority, while most of the world receives few resources. Bloomberg and The Verge reported on internal company documents appearing to show that Facebook has been losing traction with teen users and desperately trying to recapture the market.

We have some insight now into how the Coalition government intends to hit its emissions reductions targets. Huge spending on new energy projects is at the heart of the plan to get to net zero by 2050. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Scott Morrison will today announce “policies on fuel standards, electric vehicles, the use of hydrogen as a “clean” fuel and more spending of taxpayer funds on energy projects.”

A decision on Pfizer boosters for Australians is expected before the end of the week. “We expect to receive advice from the Therapeutic Goods Administration and ATAGI within the coming days about the administration of booster doses for the general population,” a spokeswoman from the Department of Health said yesterday. If approved, Australia would become one of the few countries in the world offering a third coronavirus jab.

Amid mounting fears a ‘Great Resignation’ could hit Australian workplaces, new research seeks to better understand employee sentiment as the country moves out of lockdowns. New data suggests burnout from working from home is a key reason employees plan to leave their jobs. Longer hours, combined with a loss of division between work and home, have driven experiences of burnout globally since he pandemic began.

There were some big moves on the internet from the federal government. A new online privacy code could soon force social media platforms to verify the age of young users, and seek parental consent for those under 16. Separately, Nationals MP Anne Webster introduced a private member’s bill that would see social media companies held liable as publishers for defamatory content.

Industry Super Australia has slammed renewed government calls for a nationalised super fund. Probably not surprising. A discussion paper written by Senator Andrew Bragg argued a national default fund could help force super funds to get their act together. In response, the funds maintain that Australians would be at risk of lower returns and higher fees if their default fund was nationalised.

Housing affordability across Sydney has fallen to its lowest level in at least a decade, and Melbourne is probably not far behind. That’s per analysis by Moody’s Investors Service reported in the Nine papers, which reports that “a household with an annual income of $135,000 will spend more than 45% of it servicing their new mortgage”. There has been a surge in house prices in the nation’s capital cities and across almost every region.

The Commonwealth Bank has announced the end of its immensely popular (and heavily criticised) Dollarmites scheme. The school-based program allowed young students to open their first savings accounts. But New South Wales’ recent decision to ban it from classrooms is the final straw for the long-running program, the bank said.

Reddit is looking to hire a senior backend engineer to develop its own NFT platform. A job ad states the social media site wants to “build the largest creator economy on the internet.” “Just as cryptocurrencies are set to revolutionise the world of economics and finance, NFTs are going to rewrite how we think about digital goods,” Reddit says in its job ad.

BONUS ITEM

A social network for young adults? Groundbreaking.