Facebook announced on Thursday that it has banned Australians from viewing and sharing news on the platform because of the country’s proposed law to make digital giants pay for journalism.
The US-based company said in a statement that Australian publishers can continue to post news content on Facebook, but Australian readers cannot view or share links and posts.
Australian users cannot share Australian or international news.
International users outside of Australia also cannot share Australian news.
William Easton, Facebook’s regional managing director, said: “The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and the publishers who use it to share news content.”
“This brings us to a tough choice: try to comply with laws that ignore the reality of this relationship, or stop allowing news content in our Australian services. With a sad heart, we chose the latter.” Easton added. .
The announcement came the day after Finance Minister Josh Frydenberg (Josh Frydenberg) conducted “very promising” negotiations between Facebook and Google with Australian media companies.
Freidenberg said that after a weekend meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Alphabet and its subsidiary Google CEO Sundar Pichai, he firmly believes that the platform “really wants to participate in these businesses. arrangement.”
Friedenberg said he had a “constructive discussion” with Zuckerberg after Facebook blocked the Australian news.
Friedenberg wrote on Twitter: “He raised some unresolved issues regarding the government’s news media negotiation code. We agreed to continue the dialogue to find a way forward.”
This morning, I had a constructive discussion with Mark Zuckerberg from the United States #Facebook.
He raised some unresolved issues regarding the government’s news media bargaining law, and we agreed to continue the dialogue to find a way forward.
-Josh Friedenberg (@JoshFrydenberg) February 17, 2021
But communications minister Paul Fletcher said the government will not back down its legislative agenda.
Fletcher told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation: “Facebook’s announcement, if they maintain this position, will undoubtedly question the credibility of the platform in terms of news.”
“Actually, what Facebook is saying to Australians is that the information you see on our platform does not come from organizations with editorial policies or fact-checking processes, or from journalists who are paid to do their work,” Fletcher Added.
The Australian Parliament is debating a proposed law that will enable the two platforms to enter into a deal to pay for Australian news.
The Senate will review the bill after it passes the law later on Wednesday.
Both platforms condemned the proposed law as unworkable. Google also threatened to remove its search engine from the country.
But Google is using its own news display model to reach a salary agreement with Australian news media companies.
On Monday, Seven West Media became Australia’s largest news media company and reached an agreement with Google to pay for news.
Since then, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. announced a broad transaction.
According to reports, Rival Nine Entertainment is approaching its own agreement, and ABC is also negotiating.
Compared with Facebook, news plays a greater role in Google’s business model.
Easton said the public will ask why platforms react differently to the proposed law, which will set up an arbitration panel to price news if the platform and the news business fail to reach a consensus.
“The answer is because our platform has a fundamentally different relationship with news,” Easton said.
Peter Lewis, director of the Technology Center think tank, head of the Australian Institute, said Facebook’s decision “will make it a weaker social network.”
Lewis said: “Facebook’s actions mean that the company’s failure in privacy, false information and data protection will require greater impetus to strengthen government supervision.” “If there is no fact-based news to anchor it, Facebook will It’s just cute cats and conspiracy theories.”
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