Clive Bull 1am - 4am
Facebook blocks news in Australia in major row over paying for content
17 February 2021, 19:49 | Updated: 18 February 2021, 08:45
Facebook has announced it will be restricting publishers and users in Australia from sharing news articles on its platform.
The move was made after the Australian Government proposed a landmark law which would make the platform pay Australian news organisations for using their content.
The bill already passed through the Australian House of Representatives and is believed to have enough support to pass through the Senate.
The law would have also included Google - which threatened to leave the country in response - which has now decided to cut ties with major Australian media organisations.
In a blog post, William Easton, managing director of Facebook Australia & New Zealand, said the law "fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content."
He added: "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.”
The move also means that news articles shared by publishers outside of Australia will not be viewable within the country.
International users will also not be able to share or view Australian content.