Facebook has threatened to stop users from sharing news content in Australia as it prepares for a new law forcing it to pay publishers for their articles. Regulators want tech giants like Facebook and Google to pay for the content reposted from news outlets. The social media network said that if the proposed legislation becomes law, it will stop Australians from sharing news on Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram. The tech giant alerted users globally that it would be changing its terms of service. To “remove or restrict access to your content, services or information if we determine that doing so is reasonably necessary to avoid or mitigate adverse legal or regulatory impacts to Facebook”.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has declared he won’t be intimidated by scare tactics from Facebook and Google after the tech giants threatened to effectively ban news content on their platforms if world-first regulation passes in Australia.
“Australia makes laws that advance our national interest. We don’t respond to coercion or heavy-handed threats wherever they come from,” Mr Frydenberg said, “Our reforms to digital platforms are world-leading and following a groundbreaking 18-month inquiry by the ACCC. “These reforms will help to create a more sustainable media landscape and see payment for original content.”
The ACCC responded to Facebook’s threat to block news content saying it was “ill-timed and misconceived. The code simply aims to bring fairness and transparency to Facebook and Google’s relationships with Australian news media businesses,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said, “As the ACCC and the Government work to finalise the draft legislation, we hope all parties will engage in constructive discussions.”