Facebook threatens news sharing ban in Australia

Facebook threatens news sharing ban in Australia

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Facebook has threatened to stop users from sharing news content in Australia as it prepares for a new law that forces it to pay publishers for their articles.

Regulators want tech giants like Facebook and Google to pay for content reposted by news agencies.

Last month, Google warned its users that its search services could be “dramatically worse” as a result.

Facebook’s latest move to block news sharing has escalated tensions between tech companies and regulators.

The social network said that if the proposed legislation becomes law, it will prevent Australians from sharing news on Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has drawn up rules to “level the playing field” between tech giants and publishers who, he believes, are struggling with lost advertising revenue.

But in a blog post, Facebook CEO for Australia and New Zealand Will Easton said the bill “misunderstands the dynamics of the internet and will hurt the very news organizations the government is trying to. to protect”.

He argued that it would force Facebook to pay for content that publishers voluntarily post on its platform to generate traffic to their news sites.

Mr. Easton said Facebook sent 2.3 billion clicks from the Facebook news feed to Australian news websites, worth approximately A $ 200 million ($ 148 million; £ 110 million) during the first five months of the year.

News blocking “isn’t our first choice, it’s the last,” he said, adding that Facebook’s other services that allow family and friends to connect won’t be affected.

A Facebook spokesperson told the BBC it “will provide specific details soon” on how it will enforce the ban.

Some business pundits argue that tech companies should pay publishers for the quality news content they republish.

“Google, Facebook and others get away with giving it away for free for too long,” Michael Wade, a professor at IMD Business School in Switzerland and Singapore, told the BBC last month.

Google and Facebook pay for some news content in specific markets and have said they plan to extend these initiatives to more countries.

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