Facebook’s got some major beef with the continent of Australia and if things don’t get sorted out, the social network has threatened to remove Australians ability to share news on the platform. Yup, thats some Wagyu level beef right there.
The whole issue stems from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) proposed law that would make it compulsory for tech companies such as Facebook to pay publishers for content.
Before you start thinking that Facebook are a bunch of a**holes for not wanting to pay publishers though, it’s worth noting that Facebook’s stance on this is that that news content “is not a significant source of revenue” and that such a law “ignores the financial value we bring publishers.”
On top of that, the company has also said in a statement that its offered alternatives which include bringing Facebook News to Australia but it’s all been overlooked. It’s with all that in mind that Facebook is resorting to doing what they’ve previously only teased at doing, which is “reluctantly” disallowing anyone, be it publishers or users to share news in the country.
Facebook’s statement pretty much explained their decision in full and excerpts from it include “We are left with a choice of either removing news entirely or accepting a system that lets publishers charge us for as much content as they want at a price with no clear limits,” and that “Unfortunately, no business can operate that way.”
The ban, which includes both Facebook and Instagram will affect Australian organisations and international media the most and shows just how serious Facebook are about this. That being said, it’s uncertain if the company’s threat will hold much weight.
Certain countries in Europe have tried to force other tech companies such as Google to pay publishers and Google’s response to that was similar to what Facebook is threatening to do. In case you’re wondering, Google is against the ACCC’s proposed law too.
It’ll be interesting to see how this one turns out. Stay tuned for updates.