Social media giant Facebook waded into a fresh controversy in Australia when it began blocking its users, news organisations and others from sharing news content on its platform.
So enraged were the Facebook users that they began a campaign to delete Facebook and quickly the hashtag #DeleteFacebook was trending across the globe.
Why did Facebook bar sharing of news?
Australia is all set to make a new ‘media code’ as a law which says Google or Facebook must pay the newsrooms or news organisations for using the news content the latter generate. The new law empowers news publishers to have individual monetary deals with Facebook and Google.
Following this the social media giant Facebook has blocked sharing or viewing news for audiences in Australia. News publishers or communities sharing news in the country will not be able to share it on the platform, according to a statement.
This announcement comes as media platforms play a crucial role in dissemination of news and information around the world.
What does Facebook say?
According to Facebook regional manager director William Easton “the proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content.”
“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,” he added.
What does Australia say?
According to communications minister Paul Fletcher, Facebook is saying to Australians, the information on the platform are not fact proof and do not follow journalistic ethics.
The law is applicable to all major media giants, including Google. However, the American search engine is under talks regarding the same.
How popular is Facebook in Australia?
According to a BBC report, about 17 million Australians visit Facebook every month, hence it will affect the larger part of the population.
The Australian authorities are trying to regularise a deal which will benefit both the social media platforms and the smaller publishers of the country, with profit sharing among both in regards to advertising.
What is the impact of the Facebook decision to ban newslinks?
The ban has affected the national broadcasters, emergency and health services as millions of followers keep a check with the on goings through the platform. Later, Facebook said they have removed the settings from the essential services and would not further impact it.
With the recent ban, the Australians have criticised the media giant about the sudden drop in their access to information sources. Also, bringing uncertainty to the course of fake news and disinformation.
Many netizens are raging war with Facebook through the means of memes. Some of the trending ones are-
— Coronapocalypse N😷W (@coronapocaIypse) February 18, 2021
— Ross Gardner (@Ross_Swim14) February 18, 2021
— 🏳️🌈🆃🅸🆉🆁🅷🅴🅰🅳🏳️🌈 (@TizRheaD) February 18, 2021
— Therapist 𝔻𝕒𝕟 💙🏳️🌈 (@thedmarshall) February 18, 2021
— Faye (@11FayeFaye11) February 18, 2021
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