Why Facebook restricted new contents in Australia?

The tech-giant Facebook has recently blocked the Australian users from reading and sharing any local and international news. Facebook has initiated this move in the backdrop of the dispute over new media payment law that Australia has initiated.

Highlights

  • The Facebook has retaliated over the new legislation that was brought by Australian government. This legislation pushes the tech companies to pay publishers for the news content they share.
  • With this act, the Australian government wants the tech giants like Google and Facebook to pay for the news which is shared on their platform.
  • The government had reported that the advertising revenue that earlier supported the publishers is now depleting.
  • So, this new legislation forces them to make deals with media companies separately or to set fees for them.
  • But Facebook has initiated this move to oppose the legislation stating that the proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between Facebook and publishers who use the platform to share news content.
  • Facebook has also dealt with the Google to challenge Australian parliament for the proposed law.
  • On the other hand, Google has also started to sign agreements on revenue-sharing with the publishers.

Implication of the move

  • This move by Facebook has sparked outrage in the country. Because, with this move several government and emergency response pages such as fire services, health authorities and police were removed from platform.
  • Now, the users in Australian will not have access on the news content on Facebook coming from the Australian and international media.
  • Also, the international users will not have the access news content coming from Australia on Facebook.
  • The media houses and Independent publishers from Australia will be restricted from sharing or posting their content on Facebook Pages.

Background

The Parliament in Australia has proposed a legislation following which the Google and Facebook will require to make payment negotiations with the media companies for using their content.  However, the Facebook & Google have argued that these media industry were already benefiting from traffic routed to them through the digital platforms. The tech giants also stated that, this legislation result into “unmanageable levels of financial risks as well as the operational risk” for them.

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