In September last year, the Australian government passed a new law in favor of media houses in the country. According to the law, all social media giants are bound to pay the media houses for using their content. It was backed by a lot of disagreements from tech giants like Google and Facebook.
Where Google caved in and decided to go with what the Australian government wants, Facebook has taken a rather bold step and blocked the Australian users from sharing or viewing news content on the platform.
The Australian users today woke up to find that Facebook pages of all local and global news sites were unavailable. Moreover, various government health and emergency pages were also blocked. Users outside of Australia also don’t have access to any of the Australian news publications through the platform.
Facebook’s little feat was criticized by the Australian government who said,
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said,
Talking about the ban, in a recent blog post, Facebook detailed,
According to Facebook, the law penalizes Facebook for content it didn’t take or ask for. The platform has helped Australian publishers earn about A$407m (£228m;$316m) last year through referrals, but for itself the platform gain from the news is minimal.