What you need to know
- Facebook says it may stop allowing publishers and users from sharing news stories on Facebook in Australia.
- It's over a new draft law proposed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
- Facebook says the proposed change will let publishers charge as much as they like for content "with no clear limits."
Facebook has threatened to ban the publishing of news stories on its platform in Australia over proposed new laws by Australian competition authorities.
In a press release the company stated:
Facebook says that if the draft becomes law it "will reluctantly stop allowing publishers and people in Australia from sharing local and international news on Facebook and Instagram." Facebook says that this move is a last resort, but is "the only way to protect against an outcome that defies logic and will hurt, not help, the long-term vibrancy of Australia's news and media sector."
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is trying to force Facebook and Google to compensate news outlets when stories are shared on their platforms.
Facebook says that whilst it supports the Australian government's goal of helping struggling outlets, the solution it has proposed is "counterproductive" and is "unprecedented in its reach." Facebook says the law would force it to pay news organizations for content they put on the platform voluntarily, and "at a price that ignores the financial value we bring publishers."
Facebook says news is a fraction of what most users see on its news feed and that it is not a significant source of revenue. The company says it made proposals to invest millions more dollars into outlets, but that these were overlooked:
Partly in anticipation of the new law, Facebook has updated its Terms of Service to include a provision that will let it remove any user content or restrict user access in order to protect Facebook from legal or regulatory scrutiny and impact.
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