Facebook is blocking Australian news sites from using its platform from today with the ABC, The Guardian, SBS and other platforms now showing ‘No posts yet’ on their Facebook pages. It also appears that they have blocked government health sites, the police and other non-media sites according to The Guardian.
This includes the Australian Bureau of Meteorology who have issued a press release letting Australian’s know that they can receive their weather information directly from their Bureau of Meteorology site or via the BOM Weather app.
The move comes in response to the proposed ‘News Media Bargaining Code legislation’.
On their Facebook Australia site they explain that ‘The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content’.
A similar threat by Google to withdraw its search engine from Austalian users was not carried through. Google began negotiating with a range of Australian news media sites to pay for their content including Crikey, Guardian Australia, News Corp, and Nine Entertainment.
‘The Nine deal is reportedly worth $30m a year’, according to The Guardian.
‘Australia’s treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, tweeted he had “a constructive discussion” with Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday morning,’ according to the report in The Guardian.
‘“He raised a few remaining issues with the government’s news media bargaining code and we agreed to continue our conversation to try to find a pathway forward.”
‘Australia’s communications minister, Paul Fletcher, said the move raised questions about the credibility of information now available on Facebook.
“The decision they’re taking … is [to] remove all authoritative incredible news sources from the platform,” he told 2GB radio.
“And now that is a decision that they’ve announced today. Obviously, the Australian government will consider that very carefully but it certainly raises issues about the credibility of information on the platform.”
The Echo has now also been blocked from posting on Facebook as part of Facebook’s Australian news feed blockade.
Other reliable news providers’ sites include: