Facebook, Inc. has announced that the company will block users in Australia from reading or sharing news content in response to a proposed media bargaining law that would require Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google to pay the country’s news publishers for content.
In a statement, Facebook said, “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.”
Stephen Scheeler, former Facebook Australia and New Zealand CEO, said the social media juggernaut has jumped the gun by banning news before the new law has even come into force.
‘You could say that is a bullying or intimidation tactic, so it can be quite hard for either party to back away from this whilst still saving face,’ he told The Project.
Scheeler said Facebook’s decision would have a huge impact on “Australia’s media and information ecosystem, which is a big problem for our democracy”.
The sad part is, he’s right. Social media platforms have destroyed local media organizations and the way that people obtain news and information.
Instead of just visiting a news site or picking up a paper, to see what’s happening locally, nationally, or globally, people need to be fed a headline. The top feeder, you guessed it, Facebook. Take that away, you some become lost.