Facebook Threatens to Block All News Sharing on Its Platforms in Australia

Facebook has said it will stop users in Australia from sharing news on the social network if a proposed law from the country's competition regulator comes into force that would require it to pay local media companies for their content (via CNET).

facebook
The threat comes after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) submitted a draft regulatory code that would "address the bargaining power imbalances between Australian news media businesses and digital platforms" and allow Australian news publications to "negotiate for fair payment for their journalist's work."

If the proposed regulation becomes law, technology companies like Facebook and Google will have three months to negotiate with Australian media organisations. 

In a blog post on Tuesday, Facebook Australia and New Zealand's managing director Will Easton pushed back against the draft regulation, claiming that the code "misunderstands the dynamics of the internet and will do damage to the very news organisations the government is trying to protect."

Assuming this draft code becomes law, we will reluctantly stop allowing publishers and people in Australia from sharing local and international news on Facebook and Instagram. This is not our first choice – it is our last. But it is the only way to protect against an outcome that defies logic and will hurt, not help, the long-term vibrancy of Australia’s news and media sector.

[...]

The ACCC presumes that Facebook benefits most in its relationship with publishers, when in fact the reverse is true. News represents a fraction of what people see in their News Feed and is not a significant source of revenue for us. Still, we recognize that news provides a vitally important role in society and democracy, which is why we offer free tools and training to help media companies reach an audience many times larger than they have previously.  

In a statement given to CNET, ACCC Chair Rod Sims said Facebook's threat was "ill-timed and misconceived."

"The draft media bargaining code aims to ensure Australian news businesses, including independent, community and regional media, can get a seat at the table for fair negotiations with Facebook and Google," said Sims.

"Facebook already pays some media for news content. The code simply aims to bring fairness and transparency to Facebook and Google's relationships with Australian news media businesses."

In a move possibly related to the ACCC's draft code, Facebook has sent a notification to all users, explaining that its terms of service will be updated from October 1 to allow it to remove or restrict access to any content it thinks could cause the social media company legal problems.

Google also opposes the draft regulation, and sent an open letter to the ACCC claiming that it would put the free services that it offers users at risk. The ACCC responded by saying the letter "contains misinformation" and said that "a healthy news media sector is essential to a well-functioning democracy." It also noted that charging users is not a requirement of the draft regulation, and if Google chose to go down that route, it would be Google's choice alone.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

farewelwilliams Avatar
8 months ago
should just block all users from using the platform. that would be great.
Score: 62 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Floop Avatar
8 months ago
Excellent. This is a win-win for everybody. Facebook is a horrible company, and using Facebook to get your "news" is terrible. So if Facebook want to stop people sharing "news" on their platform, that would be great! Instead we can just have holiday pictures and ads I will never click on.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kabeyun Avatar
8 months ago
Blocking news on Facebook would be marvelous, and not just in Australia & New Zealand.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
George Dawes Avatar
8 months ago
I was banned by Facebook over a trivial location issue , they wanted me to scan in my passport as proof of ID , which is a ridiculous level of intrusion imo . Twitter is just as bad . Best avoided
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DBZmusicboy01 Avatar
8 months ago
Facebook can go... you know ?
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SBlue1 Avatar
8 months ago
Facebook pays big news organizations for news? Ok. Facebooks doesn't pay the small media? Ok. So the government steps in and forces Facebook to pay them too and Facebook cries? Ok. I don't use Facebook, and in general don't think social media should be someones only source of news, but I think if Facebooks generates income from the work news organizations put in they should pay.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

siir apple event april 20

Siri Reveals Apple Event Planned for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
Siri has apparently prematurely revealed that Apple plans to hold an event on Tuesday, April 20, where the company is expected to reveal brand new iPad Pro models and possibly its long-awaited AirTags trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Upon being asked "When is the next Apple Event," Siri is currently responding with, "The special event is on Tuesday, April...
apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
pixel watch prosser leak

Google Pixel Watch Allegedly Leaks with Circular Design, Rumored to Launch in October

Monday April 12, 2021 2:49 am PDT by
Renders of Google's first smartwatch, codenamed "Rohan," have been shared by Jon Prosser, showing that Google plans to adopt a circular design for its flagship wearable watch. Prosser shared the renders in an episode of his YouTube show "Front Page Tech," in which he claims they were made based on marketing material he had seen from a source within Google. The renders show that the Pixel...
Google maps feaure green

Google Maps App for iOS Finally Updated After Four Months

Monday April 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Following the completed rollout of App Privacy labels for its App Store apps, Google today updated the Google Maps app for the first time in four months. Apple in December began requiring all new app submissions and app updates to include App Privacy labels, detailing the data that is collected by the app so consumers know what they're sharing. Google didn't begin implementing App Privacy ...
AppleTV and HomePod Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on New Apple TV With Integrated HomePod Speaker and FaceTime Camera

Monday April 12, 2021 3:32 am PDT by
Apple is working on a combined Apple TV with HomePod speaker that has a camera for video calls through a connected television set, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: The company is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions,...
samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
epic iap feature 3

Tim Cook Says App Store Would Become a 'Flea Market' if Third-Party Payment Systems Were Allowed

Monday April 12, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
In a recent interview with the Toronto Star, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about a wide variety of topics, ranging from App Tracking Transparency to Apple's ongoing legal battle over App Store policies with Fortnite creator Epic Games. Notably, Cook said that Epic Games' desire for Apple to let developers offer their own payment systems in apps "would make the App Store a flea market":At the...
tim cook toronto star

Tim Cook Says Apple is 'Not Against Digital Advertising' Ahead of iOS 14.5 Launch With App Tracking Transparency

Monday April 12, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
Starting with iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5, Apple will be requiring apps to receive a user's permission to track their activity for targeted advertising purposes, as part of a privacy measure known as App Tracking Transparency. Ahead of App Tracking Transparency being enforced, Apple CEO Tim Cook has participated in a privacy-focused interview with the Toronto Star, telling the...
a13 bionic mockup

Apple Made Sudden Security Changes to its Chips in Fall 2020

Monday April 12, 2021 8:15 am PDT by
Apple made unusual mid-production hardware changes to the A12, A13, and S5 processors in its devices in the fall of 2020 to update the Secure Storage Component, according to Apple Support documents. According to an Apple Support page, spotted by Twitter user Andrew Pantyukhin, Apple changed the Secure Enclave in a number of products in the fall of 2020:Note: A12, A13, S4, and S5 products...
HomePod G4 Feature

Bloomberg: Future HomePod May Feature iPad Connected Via Robotic Arm to Track Users Around The Room During FaceTime Calls

Monday April 12, 2021 3:50 am PDT by
In a report outlining a possible Apple TV with a combined HomePod and camera, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that Apple is exploring a future high-end HomePod speaker that could include an iPad connected via a robotic arm that tracks and follows users around a room. From the report: The Cupertino, California-based technology giant, is also mulling the launch of a high-end speaker with a touch ...