Facebook has banned news from being seen or posted by Australian accounts.
In December 2020, The Australian Government released media legislation called the ‘Media Bargaining Law’ that sought to make Facebook pay news organisations for sharing their content.
In response, Facebook today banned Australians from sharing and posting news content on the social media site, whether that news is Australian or even from international site.
“The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content,” said William Easton, the Managing Director of Facebook Australia & New Zealand in a blog post this morning.
“It has left us facing a stark choice: attempt to comply with a law that ignores the realities of this relationship or stop allowing news content on our services in Australia. With a heavy heart, we are choosing the latter.”
Now, when Australians go to the Facebook pages of news sites, no posts show up.
And when Australian users attempt to share news content on Facebook, an error response occurs saying “something’s gone wrong.”
“We hope that in the future the Australian government will recognise the value we already provide and work with us to strengthen, rather than limit, our partnerships with publishers,” Easton continued.
Australian politicians are attempting to rectify the ban on news dissemination on Facebook, with the Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg Tweeting:
“This morning, I had a constructive discussion with Mark Zuckerberg from #Facebook. He raised a few remaining issues with the Government’s news media bargaining code and we agreed to continue our conversation to try to find a pathway forward.”
Google has taken a different tact with news publishers, in which companies “develop a subscription platform, share advertising revenue through Google’s ad technology services, build out audio journalism and develop video journalism by YouTube,” according to Reuters.
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp was the latest to strike a deal with Google, with Nine Entertainment and ABC also in discussions with the search engine.