The social network Facebook is drawing conclusions from the media law planned in Australia. With immediate effect, users and companies “Down Under” are no longer allowed to share news content. Important official pages are (still) affected by the lock.
The Australian government wants to ask large tech companies like Facebook and Google to pay if they continue to distribute news content from local media via their social networks and portals like Google News. After US corporations, in particular, spoke out against the bill, Facebook is now giving the Senate and the cabinet under Prime Minister Scott Morrison the cold shoulder. In the night from Wednesday to Thursday, the Australians were turned off the news.
Facebook closes “with a heavy heart”, Google agrees with publishers
Currently, it is no longer possible for the more than 25 million inhabitants of the state to see or share local news content via the largest social network in the world. In a statement, Facebook commented on the situation:
” The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content. It presents us with a difficult decision: Either we try to comply with a law that ignored the realities of this relationship or we will no longer allow news content on our services in Australia. It is with a heavy heart that we choose the latter. “
The side effect of the news blackout is said to have been that, in addition to the Facebook pages of publishers, those of various government agencies were also restricted. Among other things, the police, fire brigade and health authorities were no longer able to share their important content (e.g. corona notices, forest fires, floods). Facebook has already confirmed that this was not intended and that the pages will be unblocked in a timely manner. Meanwhile, Google is relying on de-escalation and is trying to come to an agreement with the Australian media companies outside the planned media law after threatening to block the search engine in Australia.
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