Facebook Blocks News in Australia to Avoid Paying News Publishers



Facebook has retaliated against the people of Australia by removing all content from Australian news publishers off of its platform. This is Facebook’s latest temper tantrum about an Australian law that would require Facebook (and Google) to pay news organizations for their content.

The law Facebook is angry about is called the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC). It is a mandatory code that would cover issues like the sharing of data, ranking news content online and the sharing of revenue generated from the news. The law will be enforced through penalties and sanctions and will include a binding dispute resolution process.

Facebook posted the following on their Newsroom blog:

…Unfortunately, this means people and news organizations in Australia are now restricted from posting news links and sharing or viewing Australian and international news content on Facebook. Globally, posting and sharing news links from Australian publishers is also restricted. To do this, we are using a combination of technologies to restrict news content and we will have processes to review any content that was inadvertently removed…

In June of 2020, Facebook whined that it and Google were being “singled out” unfairly by this law. Facebook stated: “If there were no news content available on Facebook in Australia, we are confident that the impact on Facebook’s community metrics and revenues in Australia would not be significant.”

It seems to me that if Facebook believes that Facebook’s revenue would not significantly change by removing Australian news – it means Facebook can easily afford to pay for it.

NBC News reported that as of today, Australian users and publishers would not be able to post news content to its social network after the Australian government threatened to force it to pay news publishers. According to NBC News, Australian publishers will be restricted from sharing or posting content to their company pages. News publishers outside of Australia can still post articles, but Australians will not be able to view them.

According to NBC News, Google has decided that it will pay news publishers for their content. Google will remunerate French newspapers based on contributions to political and general information, daily volume of publications and monthly internet audience.