Facebook to ‘ban’ Australians from sharing and viewing news articles
Facebook says it’s banning publishers and users in Australia from sharing and viewing news articles.
The social media giant says the move is in response to the federal government’s proposed legislation to create a media bargaining code.
If the code becomes law, it would force the tech giants to pay media outlets for their news content.
Facebook said the proposed law “fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers”.
The stunning decision means Australian publishers won’t be able to share their stories on Facebook, while international news won’t be visible or able to be shared by Australian Facebook users.
The federal government is now trying to negotiate with Facebook.
Communications Minister Paul Fletcher says the company makes billions from Australian content, and some of that money must be shared.
“They are effectively saying to Australians, if you are looking for reliable news, Facebook is not the place to look for it,” he said.
“It’s certainly something that raises concern… the government will consider this very carefully.”
It comes after Google agreed to pay Nine Entertainment Co, which owns 6PR, more than $30 million in cash annually for the use of its news content.
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.
— Josh Frydenberg (@JoshFrydenberg) February 17, 2021
(Photo: iStock by Getty Images.)