Washington: Facebook has made a stunning move to ban publishers and Australian users from sharing or viewing any news articles in response to the Morrison government’s proposed media bargaining laws.
The bargaining code would require social media companies to pay media outlets for using their content.
In a blog post on Thursday (AEDT) Facebook said that it had made the decision after being unable to find a “solution” in discussions with the Australian government.
“The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content”, Facebook said.Credit:AP
“The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content,” William Easton, Facebook’s Australia and New Zealand managing director, said.
“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.
“Unfortunately, this means people and news organisations in Australia are now restricted from posting news links and sharing or viewing Australian and international news content on Facebook.”
The ban appears to have come into effect for at least some users, who are now unable to post links to Australian news articles on their Facebook pages.
Easton said the government’s proposed legislation “seeks to penalise Facebook for content it didn’t take or ask for”.
“This legislation sets a precedent where the government decides who enters into these news content agreements, and ultimately, how much the party that already receives value from the free service gets paid,” he said.
“We will now prioritise investments to other countries, as part of our plans to invest in new licensing news programs and experiences.”
Facebook’s stance represents a different approach to search giant Google, which has struck multi-million dollar deals with major Australian publishers for the use of its content.
Google has agreed to pay Nine Entertainment Co, which owns The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, more than $30 million in cash annually for the use of its news content. The company has struck a similar deal with Seven West Media and is expected to do so shortly with other companies such as News Corp Australia.
More to come
Most Viewed in World
Source: Read Full Article