TV networks in Facebook cull

ABC, Nine, Seven, SBS, 10 and SKY News all swept up in sudden Facebook block.

Facebook has this morning deleted major TV News sites in response to the federal government’s news media code.

Australian and New Zealand managing director, Will Easton said in a blog post published on this morning. “The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content. It has left us facing a stark choice: attempt to comply with a law that ignores the realities of this relationship, or stop allowing news content on our services in Australia.

“With a heavy heart, we are choosing the latter.”

Australian users can no longer view or share local articles from impacted news feeds, while international Facebook users are also restricted from seeing Australian news.

Impacted television news sites include ABC News, Nine News, Seven News, 10 News, SBS News, SKY News and more.

ABC’s managing director David Anderson said the national broadcaster was affected and were discussing the change with Facebook.

ABC said in a statement, “ABC News is Australia’s number one digital news service and the nation’s most trusted news outlet. The ABC’s digital news services will always remain free and accessible to all Australians on the ABC website and via the ABC News app, providing independent and reliable news, information and analysis. Despite key issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic having ongoing effects on all Australians, Facebook has today removed important and credible news and information sources from its Australian platform.  We will continue our discussions with Facebook today following this development.”

A Nine spokesperson said: “It is unfortunate Facebook have taken this position and it will indeed inhibit us from sharing our quality news and information with Australians. Nobody benefits from this decision as Facebook will now be a platform for misinformation to rapidly spread without balance. This action proves again their monopoly position and unreasonable behaviour. But today’s statement does not mean Facebook will not have to abide by the Federal Governments proposed code. Value has already been transferred and Facebook has benefited from our content for many years. We should be able to access their monopoly platform and have the right to monetise our content as a result. We have been negotiating with Facebook in good faith and we remain willing to do a deal with them that provides a mutually beneficial outcome and ensures quality information is available to all Australians on their platform.”

Major media companies Seven West Media, Nine, and News Corp have all reportedly struck content deals with Google this week.

Source: The Guardian, ABC News, news.com.au

39 Responses

  1. The media can’t whinge now. They wanted to have their cake and eat it too. The dishonest campaign from some media outlets on this is frightening and revealing. They’ll just straight up lie when it suits them.

  2. Kind of strange that the media saying they want access to Facebook and it users, doesn’t gel with their requests to remove their content if it’s free, will they pay Facebook for the access to their users and platform as happens on any other platform in the world?

    1. The news outlets got exactly what they’ve been asking for, remove their content or pay them for it, they’ve been enjoying a free ride on Facebook for years so any wonder Facebook didn’t bow down to the grand standing media moguls.

  3. Facebook as just done exactly what the Media said they wanted, stopped people linking via HTTPS to the content without paying. Just imagine how much better the internet will be when consumers have to pay every time they create link or click on a URL!

  4. Best thing they could have done for Australians. The public should not rely on a third party to filter their news for them. I can only hope they block illegitimate news as well. We need to stop Josh Frydenberg from making deals with Fakebook, for a government to even consider pandering to big tech is ludicrous! A blanket ban on all Aus news outlets sets a level playing field for all of them, no need to complain, back the motion.

  5. FB represents extreme capitalism with no viable competition. To me it’s no different to communism. Hardly answerable to anyone, impossible to contact and simply takes over any potential threat. The same company that can’t stop the live streaming of extremist atrocities but can knock out important local community websites. For once it would be nice if we can all agree that these giant corporate behemoths need greater regs and pay some flamin tax

  6. I look at FB regularly but don’t think I’ve ever looked at news posts. If I want news I go to to the free websites or the news sites I subscribe to.

    1. Hasn’t become law yet. Govt used its 1-seat majority to pass the House. Still needs to pass the Senate (which is hostile, but Labor waving it through). Legislation only takes effect after royal assent, which is still pending.

  7. The majority of news posts I see will take you to their own site to read more about the story – the post on Facebook is usually just a sentence or headline, and you can tell by the comments how few of the people commenting have read the whole story. Like most businesses, you use Facebook for exposure but the idea is to get the user out of Facebook and onto your own website where you can monetise.

  8. I know next to nothing about how all of this works. But, as an everyday news consumer. At face value it seems like there is much more value to news organisations to have their content available on FB than there is FB hosting it. So, I don’t really understand why FB would be the one paying the news org’s.
    As I said though, I know little about it and I’m sure there’s much more complexity to it than that.

  9. It’s even affecting community broadcasters… well some. Strangely Channel 31 Melbourne’s Facebook page has “no posts yet”, but Channel 44 Adelaide’s hasn’t been affected. In radio; 3RRR, SYN and 3CR’s are affected, but 3PBS and JOY FM aren’t

  10. Why should Facebook pay media companies. The media companies have opted to start all their pages and get free exposure on Facebook. Absolutely for free except for when they choose to do sponsored posts.

  11. Facebook has also blocked non-news pages of media organisations, such as, ABC’s iView Facebook page. I don’t recall seeing anything other than posts for upcoming shows.

    Meanwhile, the ABC’s Planet America Facebook page is still up.

    There are other inconsistences as well, such as, The Bureau of Meteorology, Fire and Rescue NSW and Queensland Health, have also been blocked.

    Yet heaps of Facebook pages running various conspiracy theories re: COVID-19, eg. Craig Kelly and Reignite Democracy Australia – VIC, to name but 2 of ’em.

    I’m not a big Facebook user but I did use some of these now blocked pages, eg. iView, to ask questions, etc.

    1. How much do media companies spend on Facebook. Not much, i never see sponsored posts from them, mainly only retailers and other businesses. They have all been getting a free ride from Facebook.

      1. To be honest, I deleted Facebook years ago, and “News” wasn’t really a thing during that time.
        But ad spend/sponsored posts do cost money, they would have been spending, but perhaps your weren’t in their target demos/algorithm. You can drill quite precisely to your target audience.
        Agree with the free ride, but it’s the same with Twitter, free marketing.
        Interesting how Facebook Watch was a thing last year.

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