Mark Zuckerberg to ban Australians from spreading news on Facebook and Google

Citizens of Australia may be blocked from sharing news on the social media platform as big tech fights for ad revenue.

Facebook has warned people and cited of a new law which has pitted Big Tech firms against major media outlets demanding a cut of their revenue.

Much of the Australian news sector relies on Facebook and Google for traffic and one third of all Australians get their news through Facebook and now the social media platform want their cut.

New regulations by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) mean that platforms such as Facebook and Google have to give news organizations a piece of their digital marketing earnings.

Facebook insists the ACCC “misunderstands the dynamics of the internet,” and that the regulation would force the company to bar Australian users from sharing news stories.

“The ACCC presumes that Facebook benefits most in its relationship with publishers, when in fact the reverse is true. News represents a fraction of what people see in their News Feed and is not a significant source of revenue for us,” Will Easton, the managing director for Facebook Australia and New Zealand, said in a statement on Monday.

“Assuming this draft code becomes law, we will reluctantly stop allowing publishers and people in Australia from sharing local and international news on Facebook and Instagram. This is not our first choice – it is our last.”

Facebook, however, argues that it already rewards news organizations immensely, saying the platform had “sent 2.3 billion clicks from Facebook’s News Feed back to Australian news websites at no charge” between January and May 2020, which it added was worth some $200 million (AUD) in ad revenue.

Asked in July whether the law would mean Australian news is struck from Google services, Silva said: “All options are on the table.”


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