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Facebook has prohibited Australian users from sharing news

Facebook has begun restricting the sharing of news on its service in Australia. The decision to prohibit Australian news from Facebook comes in response to the news media bargaining code, which could compel the platform and search engine giant Google to pay news outlets for the Australian reporting they show.

At the center of the battle is whether the tech giants should pay news organizations for the news stories that are shared on their networks. Under a proposed law from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, both Google and Facebook would be required to negotiate with mass media publishers and recompense them for the content that seems on their sites.

In a blog post, the company required to minimalize the material impact of the decision to Facebook’s bottom line, while highlighting what the move will cost users in Australia and around the globe.

Facebook’s decision blocks those in Australia from sharing news and stops users internationally from sharing articles from Australian publishers. “Facebook needs to think very carefully about what this means for its reputation and standing,” Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said on an Australian Broadcasting Corporation interview Thursday morning.

A Facebook representative said Zuckerberg again stated his displeasure during the discussion over the proposed law but declared the company will continue to engage. Last summer, Facebook had threatened to block people and publishers in Australia from sharing newscasts on its leading social network and Instagram. Goggle has likewise threatened to close its search engine in Australia.

On Wednesday, Facebook tried to draw a contrast with Goggle, arguing that publishers don’t deliver articles that seem in Google search results, while they enthusiastically post news on Facebook, which assists them to reach larger viewers. Google has already begun working with publishers to drive lump sum costs so that they continue to surface news content in the state.

Facebook also draws a difference between how news publishers and readers access news content on its social network vs. Google’s search engine. “Google Search is inextricably intertwined with news and publishers do not voluntarily provide their content. On the other hand, publishers willingly choose to post news on Facebook, as it allows them to sell more subscriptions, grow their audiences, and increase advertising revenue,” William Easton, Managing Director, Facebook Australia & New Zealand claims.

“We were prepared to launch Facebook News in Australia and significantly increase our investments with local publishers, however, we were only prepared to do this with the right rules in place,” Easton goes on.

Facebook said it will on machine learning software to regulate what links are considered news. It’s conceivable non-news stories, like opinion pieces, will likewise be restricted if they get from predominantly news-focused organizations, a representative affirmed.

Just 4% of the posts that people get in Facebook’s News Feed are news, the company said. Facebook previously hold back on articles in user feeds in early 2018 as a way to increase the number of posts that people get from friends and family.

Facebook declares the news content changes won’t affect any of the company’s other products and services in Australia.

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