Facebook announced Wednesday that it would no longer allow people in Australia to read or share news content on its platform.
The announcement comes after Australia proposed a “Media Bargaining law” that would require the tech company to pay the country’s news publishers for content, according to a Facebook press release.
According to Australian lawmakers, the new law would “protect public interest journalism” by allowing media outlets to gain compensation for the content shared or read by search engines and social media users, The Independent reported.
Changes to Sharing and Viewing News on Facebook in Australia https://t.co/ePpPWE65Ns
— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) February 17, 2021
William Easton, Managing Director, Facebook Australia & New Zealand, explained the reasoning behind the social media giant’s decision in the company’s announcement.
“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,” Easton wrote. (RELATED: Steven Crowder To Sue Facebook For ‘Unfair’ Treatment Of Conservatives)
Easton went on to claim that the proposed law “fundamentally fails to understand how our services work.”
The Media Bargaining law was proposed in April 2020 to ” develop a mandatory code of conduct to address bargaining power imbalances between Australian news media businesses and digital platforms, specifically Google and Facebook,” the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission announced.