Facebook bans News in Australia

Tech giant’s news ban on Australia hits health services, small business Frydenberg in talks with Zuckerberg over media code

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is rallying the support of foreign leaders to push back against Facebook’s ‘‘bullying’’, after the social media giant stunned the world by blacking out news for millions of Australians and also blocking access to hundreds of other non-media pages.

Many businesses, state government health authorities, the Royal Children’s Hospital, mental health and domestic violence services, the Bureau of Meteorology and the West Australian opposition leader fighting an election were among those suddenly unplugged by Facebook yesterday.

Government ministers, small business, health authorities and science bodies accused Facebook of hurting the economy and risking public safety during the pandemic.

Read more AFR

Australian Businesses have their Say

Trevor Long, publisher and editor of the cars, tech and lifestyle publication EFTM.com, will focus more on email newsletters now that his site has been blocked by Facebook as part of its purge of all news content from its Australian platform.

Scott Purcell, the co-founder and publisher of men’s digital lifestyle publication Man of Many, will continue to use Facebook to post content, but says he will remain cautious of over-relying on any one platform, having initially been caught up in the bitter dispute between Facebook and the Australian government over whether big tech platforms should pay for news content on their sites.

What neither of them should do, though, is sue Facebook to try to recoup the money they have spent with the social media platform for building their audiences.

Big tech companies impose ‘‘highly asymmetrical’’ terms and conditions on their users that would make suing them ‘‘very difficult’’, warned Martyn Taylor, a partner at law firm Norton Rose Fulbright who specialises in telecommunications, internet, media and technology law.

Read more AFR

What does Facebook bans News in Australia mean You?

The power of tech giants like Facebook dictating to Countries and Government their own companies agenda is becoming a major issue.

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