The first reports of blocked news content have already started to appear. Since the Australian government introduced the legislative proposal that requires online content sharing platforms to pay news publishers, the company has made its position clear on the matter.
Mark Zuckerberg’s social network warned that users would be the most affected by the measure and said if it was forced to pay publishers for the content they share, it would stop allowing them to be displayed.
The proposal returned to debate in the Australian Parliament this week, with a series of amendments clarifying the final formula of the law and with guaranteed approval from the biggest opposition party and Facebook is using the moment to show it is determined to take the promise of the end. And a little more.
This morning, in addition to media content, the Facebook pages of several Australian public bodies also emerged without publication, such as the Facebook page of the Meteorological Institute equivalent or the Western Australian Emergency Services.
Complaints on Twitter are growing, as The Verge writes, although the extension is difficult to analyze outside the country, as various content flagged as inaccessible can be viewed by other users in other geographies.
This move arouses outrage because the new legislation only targets news content, which is not exactly the type of information conveyed by government agencies.
Facebook has already reacted and said the following: “The law does not give a clear definition of news content, we have adopted a broad definition, to respect the wording of the law”. The Facebook spokesperson added, however, that the social network is available to reverse any blockage that proves inappropriate.
What will not escape Facebook’s “censorship” is news content, published by media companies or shared on their pages or by third parties, by individual users. This type of post, based on information from Australian or foreign media, can no longer be shared on the social network. Facebook pages of media groups have already started showing black bands. Users are already prevented from sharing news, from receiving more or less explanatory messages when they try to do so.
Facebook’s protest stance has not changed a millimeter since the first hour. Unlike Google, which threatened to stop operating its search engine in the country but relaxed its position. He eventually came to an agreement with several Australian publishers and opened the door to negotiations with the others, even trying to anticipate the terms of the law. Facebook has maintained its initial position, much criticized by Microsoft.