Facebook Blocks Sharing of News Content in Australia

Facebook said that, in response to Australia’s proposed law to force internet platforms to pay for news content, it will no longer allow publishers or users in the country share news content on its service.

Facebook’s decision means Australian publishers will not be able to share or post content on Facebook pages, while news content from non-Australian publishers will not be viewed or shared by Australian users. In addition, users outside of Australia will not be able to view or share Australian news content on Facebook or content from Australian news pages.

“Today we made an incredibly difficult decision to restrict the availability of news on Facebook in Australia,” Campbell Brown, Facebook’s VP of global news partnerships, said in a statement Wednesday. “Contrary to what some have suggested, Facebook does not steal news content. Publishers choose to share their stories on Facebook. From finding new readers to getting new subscribers and driving revenue, news organizations wouldn’t use Facebook if it didn’t help their bottom lines.”

Google similarly threatened to pull its search engine from Australia over the proposed Media Bargaining regulation. But Google has been signing deals to pay Australian news publishers in recent weeks, including via a three-year pact with News Corp announced Wednesday covering Australia and titles in other parts of the world.

More to come

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