The New Paper

February 18, 2021

Facebook blocks Australian users from sharing news content due to new regulation

Facebook blocked users in Australia from viewing or sharing news content yesterday in response to proposed legislation that would require tech platforms to pay news organizations for the content shared on their platforms. The move drew widespread backlash from Australian regulators, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

More context: Australian regulators proposed the law last year in an effort to support news organizations and address “bargaining power imbalances” between news companies and tech platforms. Facebook criticized the law yesterday, noting that the company generates referral traffic worth over $300M to Australian publishers.

Extra: Google (which is also subject to the law) previously suggested it could stop making Google Search available in Australia if the legislation is passed, but has also started forming content partnerships with news organizations this week (including a deal with News Corp announced yesterday).
This story is from the February 18, 2021 edition of The New Paper – a clear, concise daily briefing that makes fact-first news easy to consume. Try it today.