Facebook blocks news sharing content in Australia
Published: 10:17 AM, 18 February 2021 Updated: 12:39 PM, 18 February 2021
Facebook has blocked news sharing content in Australia on Wednesday over media law; Photo: Collected
Facebook has blocked news sharing content in Australia on Wednesday over government plans to force the tech giant to pay publishers for their news content.
“The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content,” Facebook said in a blog post after announcing the move.
“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,” the statement added.
Facebook’s sudden move to block news sharing content sparked outraged, as a result, some government and emergency response pages including health authorities, fire services and the police affected. Facebook’s own page was also affected by such a move.
Josh Frydenberg, the Australian Treasurer, said he had a “constructive discussion” with Mark Zuckerberg, Chief Executive Officer of Facebook, on the law. He condemned the social platform’s move.
“Facebook was wrong. Their actions were unnecessary, they were heavy-handed, and they will damage its reputation here in Australia,” he told reporters.
It is to be mentioned that the Australian government is trying to get tech giant companies, including Facebook and Google, to pay for the news which is widely shared on their platforms.
The law forced them to strike deals with media companies or have fees set for them.
Google, in the meantime, has already threatened to withdraw its search-engine services from Australia, however, the company has started to secure agreements on revenue-sharing with publishers at the same time.
Facebook, meanwhile, insists its relationship with the news industry is fundamentally different.
Source: AFP, BBC, Al Jazeera