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Australia's health department will no longer advertise on Facebook for its vaccination campaign, as the government's feud with the social media giant escalates.
CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australia will not alter legislation that would make Facebook and Alphabet Inc's Google pay news outlets for content, a senior lawmaker said on Monday, as Canberra neared a final vote on whether to pass the bill into law.
For years, Facebook has been in a defensive crouch amid a slew of privacy scandals, antitrust lawsuits and charges that it was letting hate speech and extremism destroy democracy. Early Thursday, though, it abruptly pivoted to take the offensive in Australia, where it lowered the boom on publishers and the government with a sudden decision to block news on its platform across the entire country.
Australia and Facebook are back in talks on how to implement paying for news content, following the social media giant removal of all Australian news content from its service.
Australia’s prime minister on Feb 19 urged Facebook to lift its blockade of Australian users and return to the negotiating table with news publishing businesses, warning that other countries would follow his government’s example in making digital giants pay for journalism.
In a shocking act of retaliation on Feb 18, Facebook blocked Australians from sharing news, a milestone in the increasingly frantic jockeying between governments, media and powerful tech companies.
Facebook's news content ban also knocked out Australian emergency services pages, preventing warnings about Covid outbreaks, bushfires and cyclones.
Australia on Feb 18 slammed Facebook as “heavy-handed” and “wrong” to impose a news blackout over a law that would force it to pay for content, warning the ban showed the immense power of Internet giants.
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Facebook faced backlash from publishers and politicians on Thursday after blocking news feeds in Australia in a surprise escalation of a dispute with the government over a law to require it to share revenue from news.
Google is striking deals in Australia to pay for journalism but Facebook is vowing to restrict news sharing as Australian lawmakers consider forcing digital giants into payment agreements.