Facebook blocked news content in Australia

Facebook blocked news content in Australia

Facebook on Thursday prevented its Australian users from accessing and sharing news information on its platform. As the reason, he mentioned the bill currently being processed in the Australian parliament providing for the introduction of fees for technology giants for the dissemination of this content.

Australian news content providers can still post to Facebook, but Australian audiences cannot access their links and posts. Moreover, they do not have access to information from the world and users from abroad do not have access to news from Australia.

The decision sparked outrage both from Australian Facebook users and official factors.

Pages with health, meteorological information and access to emergency services were also initially blocked, which the digital giant later considered a mistake. It was pointed out that Facebook did this during the pandemic and during the peak season of Australian bushfires and wildfires.

The Australian government in the issued statement stressed that Facebook's decision "jeopardizes its credibility". The decision was also criticized by many MPs. Opposition MP Madeleine King described her as "unbelievable, unacceptable and arrogant".

On Wednesday, a bill introducing fees for the distribution of news content was passed by the House of Representatives (lower house) of the Australian Parliament.

Digital market giants such as Google and Facebook argue that the law does not reflect the specifics of the Internet and "unfairly penalizes" their platforms. 

The Australian Competition Authority said it had drafted a bill to "level the playing field" between digital giants and traditional media publishers on the profit sharing.

So far, there are no ways out of the impasse that has arisen. (PAP)