What you need to know
- Facebook is banning news content in Australia.
- It is doing this in response to a proposed new Media Bargaining law.
- Charities, government organizations, and even Facebook's own page have been caught up in the fray.
Facebook has restricted news content on its platform in Australia over proposed new media laws, leading to many outlets, government organizations, charities, and even Facebook's own page on the site being restricted.
Over the past 24 hours, Facebook announced it was blocking users from viewing or sharing news on the platform, in response to a proposed new media licensing laws, as explained by Reuters:
In a post pre-empting the changes, Facebook stated:
Facebook says the "value exchange between Facebook and publishers" runs in favor of the publishers, as Facebook generated 5.1 billion free referrals to publishers last year worth AU$407 million. By contrast, Facebook says the business gain from news for the platform is minimal and makes up less than 4% of the content people see in their news feed.
Another added wrinkle to the story, however, is that many "innocent bystander" pages seem to have been caught up in the war. Facebook has blocked Australians from accessing many pages from government organizations and charities. This includes:
- Australian Council of Trade Unions
- Women's Legal Services Tasmania
- Queensland Health
- The Bureau of Meteorology
- 1800 Respect, an organization for victims of domestic violence
- Department of Fire and Emergency Services WA
- Women's Rugby League
- Western Sydney Health
Other targeted organizations include cancer charities, city council pages, energy and transport companies, homeless organizations, and Facebook itself. That's right, Facebook has banned its own Facebook page:
Facebook has banned Facebook's own Facebook page pic.twitter.com/bvZGRaO77HFacebook has banned Facebook's own Facebook page pic.twitter.com/bvZGRaO77H— Andrew Brown (@AndrewBrownAU) February 17, 2021February 17, 2021
The Australian government is standing by its new law, from the BBC:
Many users in Australia are extremely angry over the move, and the hashtag 'DeleteFacebook' is currently trending on Twitter.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9