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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Facebook threatens to stop Oz publishers from sharing news on its platform

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Facebook has threatened to block Australian publishers from sharing news on its platform as well as Instagram as the country wants the social network to pay media companies for using their content.

Facebook threatens Oz publishers

Facebook said that the new regulation would force it to pay news organisations for content that the publishers voluntarily place on its platforms “and at a price that ignores the financial value it brings publishers”.

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“We are left with a choice of either removing news entirely or accepting a system that lets publishers charge us for as much content as they want at a price with no clear limits,” Will Easton, Managing Director, Facebook Australia & New Zealand, said in a blog post on Monday.

“Unfortunately, no business can operate that way”.

Earlier this year, the Federal government ordered the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to develop a mandatory code of conduct for Facebook and Google that would force the tech giants to pay media companies for using their content. This was done to support traditional news media in the country and develop a sustainable business model.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg denounced the move by saying, “Australia makes laws that advance our national interest. We don’t respond to coercion or heavy-handed threats wherever they come from,” as reported by The West Australian.

Facebook in June rejected the call from the Australian government to pay media companies for using their content.

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“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,” The Facebook executive stressed.

A media studies academic requesting anonymity told Indian Link that the social media giant was “being a bully”.

The Guardian Journalist Nick Evershed also shared a tweet trolling Facebook’s decision to threaten Oz publishers.

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