Why Facebook banned news in Australia

 

If you’re an Australian Facebook user who loves to share the news on your timeline, you may have noticed something different recently: You can’t.


Australia is on the cusp of passing a law called the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code, which would force Facebook and Google to pay publishers if they host their content. The law is a response to years-long complaints from news outlets around the world about the role that Google and Facebook — and their mammoth digital ad businesses — have played in the decline of journalism and the decimation of its business model in the internet age. The two companies have responded in different ways: Google is making deals with Australian news publishers; Facebook is cutting them off entirely.


Based on reasoning that the law won’t apply to it as long as news links can’t be shared on its platform, Facebook has banned all users from sharing links to Australian news sources; Australian publications’ pages from hosting any of their own content at all; and Australian users from sharing any news links at all, Australian or international.


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