Facebook announced that it will no longer allow Australian Facebook users to share local or international news on its platform, defying a controversial new proposed media law in the country.
It is in response to the legislation, which the Australian government requires digital platforms like Google and Facebook to pay publishers for generating and linking their content on their platforms.
News agencies argued that they should be fairly compensated for their journalism as Google and Facebook capture much of the advertising market.
In general, Australian publishers will be restricted from publishing news content on their Facebook pages. News stories from international publishers will not be allowed by Australian Facebook users. Also, for normal Facebook users in Australia, they are not able to view and share news from Australian and International news pages.
Facebook’s decision of blocking news content in Australia threatens to cut off one of the widely used ways for people to access news stories and information online.
According to Australia’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, Facebook was “heavy-handed” and “wrong” for unprecedented restrictions on sharing news. He also said Facebook’s actions were unnecessary and they will damage its reputation in Australia.
In contrast with the action of Facebook, Google announced that it has struck a revenue-sharing deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp where they would be allowed to continue displaying news from the company on its services.
The deal covers the content from News Corp-owned Wall Street Journal and New York Post in the US, the Times and the Sun in the, and the Australian and Sky News in Australia.