Facebook Blocks News From Australia In Retaliation

Australia has been considering a new law forcing tech companies to pay media outlets for linked content. That basically means that if you were to share a link to an article on Facebook, Facebook would then have to pay the media company that owns that link since you shared it. 

In retaliation, on Thursday, February 8th, Facebook blocked any news sites from it’s Australian users. This was a dangerous move, not for the company, but for the people of Australia since there were severe flood and fire warnings that day. 

News outlets could not post any stories to Facebook and users couldn’t share any already existing news stories. 

“Facebook’s actions were unnecessary, they were heavy-handed and they will damage its reputation here in Australia,” Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said. 

Frydenberg said that there was no warning from Facebook. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison went on to his own Facebook to speak out about Facebook’s actions. 

“These actions will only confirm the concerns that an increasing number of countries are expressing about the behavior of BigTech companies who think they are bigger than governments and that the rules should not apply to them. They may be changing the world, but that doesn’t mean they run it. We will not be intimidated by BigTech seeking to pressure our Parliament,” Morrison said. 

Australia is staying committed to passing the new law, but this only the beginning to big tech companies going against national governments.