FB to block Australia news sharing

Written by: Bernie Yeo | 18 Feb 2021 11:18
Written by:
18 Feb 2021 11:18

Facebook has made the decision to block both Australian users and media companies from sharing links to news articles and related content on its main social network. This is following the country’s proposed landmark regulatory measure that will force tech giants to pay Australian news organisations for using their content.

"The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content," said Facebook's manager for Australia and New Zealand, William Easton.

"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 policy change from Facebook will have stark repercussions for both media organisations as well as users. While Australian publishers are restricted from sharing or posting any content on Facebook pages, international publishers will find themselves in a bind when their news content – both links and posts – cannot be viewed or shared by Aussie audiences.

Australian users meanwhile, cannot view or share Australian or international news content on Facebook or content from Australian and international news page, while international users will find that they cannot view or share Australian news content on Facebook or content from Australian news pages.

According to Easton, Facebook has argued to Australian officials that “the value exchange between Facebook and publishers runs in favour of the publishers” and generates hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue for the media organisations.

“We’ve long worked towards rules that would encourage innovation and collaboration between digital platforms and news organisations. Unfortunately, this legislation does not do that. Instead, it seeks to penalise Facebook for content it did not take or ask for.”


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