Facebook has announced an unprecedented measure: the media will not be able to share news on their Pages on Facebook and Australian users will not be able to read news through Facebook.
Australian Facebook users will not be able to read news or published by local or international media
The announcement has just been made by the social network in response to the Australian government’s “Media Bargaining” law, which asks technology companies to pay a fee for the informational content that is shared on them, understanding that they are profiting from the publication of those contents.
According to Facebook, “this law does not understand the relationship between the social network and the media that use it to share informational content.” The company says that the entry into force of this law leads them to a dilemma: either comply with a law that ignores the reality of that relationship, or stop allowing news to be shared on its services in Australia. “With pain in our hearts, we chose the latter,” Facebook said in a statement.
Facebook ensures that its situation is different from that of other companies such as Google -remember that Google News has been blocked in Spain since 2014 due to a similar situation in which Google responded as Facebook does now in Australia- since the contents of Google News do not appear because the media have voluntarily shared them.
However, for this news to appear on Facebook, the media has had to choose to publish the news on Facebook. “This allows them to sell more, have more subscribers and increase their audiences and their advertising revenue,” notes Facebook.
Facebook assures that it has tried to make the Australian government see that in the exchange of value established by the Australian media and Facebook, they are the first to win. According to Facebook, they generated more than 5.1 billion “free” visits, which could translate into a value of A $ 407 million. However, for Facebook the gain is lower, since the news only accounts for 4% of the content that users see in their feeds, they point out.
Given the entry into force of the law, Facebook also halts the launch of its Facebook News service in Australia and indicates that it will invest in media from other countries, excluding the Australian media from its support programs.
How does all this affect the Australian media? Basically they will not be able to post their news on Facebook Pages, although they may continue to have access to other functions. The international media will be able to publish the news on their Pages as before, but these will not be shown to Facebook users in Australia. Australian users therefore they will not be able to see even local media nor those published on Facebook by international media.