Many people across Australia awoke this morning to a very different Facebook, a result of the new law requiring social media sites to compensate news sources. While both Google and Facebook campaigned against the law through self-advertisements, the decision to remove such a large amount of content from their sites appears to have blindsided many.
In response to the Federal Government’s new legislation mandating news compiling sites such as Facebook pay for the stories they distribute, the tech giant chose to instead remove large volumes of posts from news pages.
However, this decision has not merely impacted news sources. Many non-news and emergency services’ pages were affected, including the Bureau of Meteorology, ACT Health, and many rural radio and media pages such as the Fire and Rescue Service of Western Australia, preventing it from posting critical updates regarding bushfires in Western Australia. Furthermore, many charities such as the Kids Cancer Project and 1800 Respect were also prevented from posting.
Woroni and numerous other student media platforms have also been impacted by the recent decision and are now unable to share their content on Facebook. It is unclear as to what the greater impacts of this will likely be.
Joint statements from student organisations to follow.