Selin ATAY-TDO- Facebook said that people and publishers in Australia will no longer be able to share or see any news from local or international outlets. The company's move comes after months of tension with the Australian government, which has proposed legislation that would force tech platforms to pay news publishers for content.
Fire and emergency services, domestic violence charities, state health agencies and other organizations said they were also affected by the restrictions, prompting outrage among those who said Facebook was restricting access to vital information.
"These actions will only confirm the concerns that an increasing number of countries are expressing about the behaviour of Big Tech companies who think they are bigger than governments and that the rules should not apply to them," Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said. "They may be changing the world, but that doesn't mean they run it." PM added.
The fight between Big Tech and Australia has been brewing for an extended period of time. In Australia, regulators released a draft of their proposed rules last summer, which would allow certain media outlets to bargain either individually or collectively with Facebook and Google so they could be paid for the news distributed on those websites.
Australia announced in April 2020 that it would move to regulate technology giants to pay news sources for content they use. Australian Federal Treasury chief Josh Frydenberg has announced his country will become the first country in the world where social media giants will have to pay for original news content by creating a mandatory law.
Google had threatened Australia that it would shut down its main search engine in Australia and Facebook would block news sharing if a law forcing the company to pay local media outlets for content it published was passed.