Sudden escalation: Facebook bans publishing news in Australia
Sudden escalation: Facebook bans publishing news in Australia

After the country's proposed landmark regulatory action required tech giants to pay Australian news outlets to use their content, Facebook banned Australian users and media companies from using news and media. Links to news articles and related content on the major social networks.

After the social media giant suddenly escalated its dispute with the government over payment for content and Australian media banned all media content, Australians woke up Thursday and emptied the news feed onto their Facebook page.

According to the New York Times, the bill was passed today by the Australian House of Representatives, and the bill is believed to have enough votes to pass in the Senate.

The bill also targets Google, which threatened to leave the country entirely early last month. However, Google decided to sign a deal with major Australian media outlets to comply with the bill.

Facebook doesn't seem to be following suit at the moment, and William Easton, CEO of Facebook Australia and New Zealand, said: The bill does not include the relationship between our platform and the publishers who use it to share updated content.

He added: We are facing a difficult decision either to try to comply with the law, ignoring the facts of this relationship, or to stop providing news content via Australian services. We chose the second option.

Facebook's ever-evolving policies have dire implications for users and media organizations. Easton explains four different categories:

  •     Australian Publishers: They are prohibited from sharing or posting content on Facebook pages. Administrators will continue to have access to other features of their Facebook Pages, including Page Insights and Creator Studio, and Facebook will continue to provide access to all other standard services, including Data Tools and CrowdTangle.
  •     International Publishers: You can still post news content via Facebook, but the Australian audience will not be able to view or share links and posts.
  •     Australian Users: You may not display or share Australian or international news content or content on Australian and international news sites through Facebook.
  •     International users: You cannot view or share Australian news content or content on Australian news sites through Facebook.

Facebook said: It uses a variety of technologies to restrict news content and has a content review process that was removed by mistake and made clear that changes to news content would not affect any other product or service the company has in Australia.

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