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Facebook has retaliated to a proposed law in Australia by preventing users in the country from sharing people from sharing or viewing news content.
The decision comes in response to the proposed Media Bargaining law. The law would see companies like Google and Facebook forced to compensate media companies for their news content.
The law is set to be adopted soon, with strong opposition from the likes of Google and Facebook.
However, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commisison, the news media bargaining code is meant to “address bargaining power imbalances between Australian news media businesses and digital platforms, specifically Google and Facebook”.
Facebook retaliates to proposed law by restricting news sharing
On 17 February, Facebook announced its decision to restrict Australian publishers from sharing or posting any content on their Facebook Pages.
Meanwhile, Australian users can’t view or share any posts from news Pages on Facebook.
This includes posts from both Australian and international publishers.
“We hope that in the future the Australian government will recognise the value we already provide and work with us to strengthen, rather than limit, our partnerships with publishers,” the company said in a statement.
Users in Australia receive an error message if they attempt to share a news post.
However, the action seemed to affect more than just news publishers.
Australian users shared screenshots on Twitter showing that legal services, government departments, advocacy groups, and other Pages had been affected by the ban.
— Dr 𝙍𝙞𝙩𝙚𝙨𝙝 𝘾𝙝𝙪𝙜𝙝 (@chugh_ritesh) February 17, 2021
— BlackMilk Clothing (@BlackMilkTweets) February 18, 2021
Some Pages have since been restored.
— The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne (@RCHMelbourne) February 18, 2021
It’s unclear what the next move in the impasse will be.
In the meantime, some publishers have encouraged consumers to go directly to sites or use other platforms to access news.
Feature image: Pixabay from Pexels