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Facebook blocks news content in Australia

Neil Breen + Bill McDonald
Article image for Facebook blocks news content in Australia

Facebook has announced publishers and people in Australia will be restricted from sharing or viewing news content.

The move, which came into effect this morning, has created confusion for many Australians on the social media site due to inconsistency with what pages are included in the ban.

Listeners have reported to Neil Breen news pages are visible for some and not others.

It comes as the social media giant failed to reach an agreement with the government over Australia’s proposed media bargaining laws.

“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’s Australia and New Zealand managing director William Easton said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, this means people and news organisations in Australia are now restricted from posting news links and sharing or viewing Australian and international news content on Facebook.”

“The big ramifications of this is Facebook now deciding what news is, what sites constitute news and what pages constitute news,” Head of Digital at Nine Radio Matt Cram told Neil Breen.

“The average user will still be able to get on Facebook but they won’t see posts from some of their favourite publishers and broadcasters like they have previously.

“They also won’t be able to read something on the internet and share it with their friends on Facebook.”

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Social media expert Mitch Hills from Mastered Marketing, told Bill McDonald Facebook needed to drill down and define ‘news’.

“I think they did the ‘you need us more than we need you’ so ‘here you go, here’s no news’.

“I do feel like it’s a little bit of a power play to say our way is better than your way.”

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Image: Getty 

Neil Breen + Bill McDonald