Facebook threatens to ban Australians from sharing news

 


Australians could be blocked from sharing news content on Facebook and Instagram, if a world-first attempt to govern how media companies deal with big tech becomes law.

Facebook has issued the threat in response to a proposed law that would see Facebook and Google forced to pay Australian media organisations for hosting their content.

"This is not our first choice — it is our last.

"But it is the only way to protect against an outcome that defies logic and will hurt, not help, the long-term vibrancy of Australia's news and media sector."

Mr Easton took aim at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which developed the draft code, accusing it of ignoring the role social media plays in promoting journalism.

He argued that in the first five months of 2020, users had clicked on Australian news items shared on the platform 2.3 billion times, which the company said generated $200 million in revenue for Australian media organisations.

"When crafting this new legislation, the commission overseeing the process ignored important facts, most critically the relationship between the news media and social media and which one benefits most from the other," Mr Easton said.

Google has already launched a strong opposition campaign to the laws, pushing an open letter onto its users.

The media has long argued companies such as Facebook and Google benefit from the work of journalists, without paying for access to those stories or sharing any advertising revenue from their platforms.

The Government says its proposed laws are essential for creating a level playing field between local media and big internet companies.

Under the laws, Facebook and Google would be forced to negotiate payments with Australian media companies for their content.

If no agreement can be reached, they could be forced into an arrangement.

More to come.

Facebook threatens to ban Australians from sharing news Facebook threatens to ban Australians from sharing news Reviewed by Anson Moore on August 31, 2020 Rating: 5

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