Facebook pulls Australian news content from site

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO. Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Feb. 17 (UPI) — Facebook will no longer allow Australian users and news organizations to post links to news articles on the social media platform, the California-based tech company said Wednesday.

The announcement came in reaction to a proposed Australian law requiring tech companies to pay publishers a flat fee to allow links to news content to be posted on their various tech platforms.

Campbell Brown, Facebook’s vice president of global news partnerships, said that rather than pay the fee, Facebook would no longer allow Australian news organizations or Australian users to post links. Australian users also will not be able to view or share news content posted by international news organizations.

“What the proposed law introduced in Australia fails to recognize is the fundamental nature of the relationship between our platform and publishers,” Brown said in a blog post.

“Contrary to what some have suggested, Facebook does not steal news content. Publishers choose to share their stories on Facebook. From finding new readers to getting new subscribers and driving revenue, news organizations wouldn’t use Facebook if it didn’t help their bottom lines.”

Facebook warned in August it wouldn’t pay publishers for content posted on the social network when the new law was first proposed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Earlier this week, Google announced a multi-million dollar agreement with News Corp., allowing the tech company to include multiple Murdoch family-owned organizations on its News Showcase.


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