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.