In response to Australia’s proposed new Media Bargaining law, Facebook will restrict publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content. According to media reports, the blockade has already started.
Facebook had already threatened to block media content in September 2020. Now the decision was made “with a heavy heart“, said Facebook manager William Easton.
According to Facebook, the media benefit more from the social network than the other way around. “Last year, Facebook generated around 5.1 billion free referrals to Australian publishers, valued at an estimated 407 million Australian dollars,” the blog post said. For Facebook, however, the gain from the news is marginal. “News makes up less than 4 percent of the content people see in their news feed,” the company writes.
While Facebook is taking the more radical step, Google has hastily reached agreements with Australian publishers in the past few days to avoid the application of the code.
According to Media Bargaining Law, internet companies such as Google and Facebook will have to pay local media companies in the future when they distribute their content. Both Google and Facebook show their protest against the law, who refuse to pay news publishers.
Earlier Google declared that if this code is passed into law, the Google search engine will no longer be available in Australia. Microsoft has criticized the tech giants and announced that it is on the Australian authorities’ side, a move that would position Bing.