Facebook blocks news content in Australia as it blasts proposed law
Facebook Inc will block news content from being read and shared in its news feed in Australia, drawing a line in the sand against a proposed Australian law that would require it and Alphabet Inc’s Google to pay the country’s news publishers for content, Reuters reports.
The move, announced in a blog post on Wednesday, represents a divergence in responses among the big tech giants under attack by news publishers, which have blamed the companies for destroying their advertising business.
The Australian federal government has said it plans to put the legislation, which effectively force Google and Facebook to strike deals with media companies or have fees set for them, to a vote in the coming weeks.
Facebook said the proposed legislation “fundamentally misunderstands” the relationship between itself and publishers, arguing that news outlets voluntarily post their article links on Facebook, which helped Australian publishers earn about AU$407 million in 2020 through referrals.