Australia vs. Facebook: social media giant blocks news in Australia

Australia vs. Facebook: social media giant blocks news in Australia

According to Simon Birmingham, the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Australia will not use Facebook for advertising campaigns and social projects. The government made such a decision after Facebook imposed a number of restrictions in response to a new law. Recently, Facebook has blocked Australian users from reading and sharing local and international news on the platform, stepping up its campaign against the government initiative to force social media giants to pay publishers for their news content.

The government believes that Facebook unreasonably blocks websites in the country. The current situation led to the rejection of advertising campaigns in the social network by the Australian authorities. Australia called on Facebook to abide by the law. According to Birmingham, the social network should recognize that it needs to behave like any other content publisher. "The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content. It has left us facing a stark choice: attempt to comply with a law that ignores the realities of this relationship, or stop allowing news content on our services in Australia. With a heavy heart, we are choosing the latter," Facebook wrote in a post.  

Similar situations have already taken place in the Australian digital services market. Earlier, on January 28, 2021, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) asked the government to investigate the activities of US corporation Google, which began to dominate the national digital advertising market. As a result, Melo Silva, Google's regional director, said that the company would not be able to work under such conditions. The company would have to turn off its Internet search in Australia. The government’s reaction was rather negative. They are ready to introduce restrictive measures if necessary.

"These actions will only confirm the concerns that an increasing number of countries are expressing about the behavior of Big Tech companies who think they are bigger than governments and that the rules should not apply to them. They may be changing the world, but that doesn't mean they run it," Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison wrote in a post on his own Facebook page. If the situation worsens, the authorities can properly respond to threats from tech companies, the Australian government stressed.


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