Why Facebook Banned Australian News From Being Shared

If you’ve been keeping up with all the talks about the news media bargaining code in Australia, you might have noticed that last week, Facebook banned Australian news from being seen and shared on its platform.

And if you haven’t, then here’s the short of it:

The Australian government wants Google and Facebook to pay to share content created by Australian news outlets. Previously, these news articles have been shared freely across the platforms without the media outlets that created them being compensated.

Google and Australia are still in talks about working out some sort of agreement so that the google.com we all know and love will still be able to be used Down Under. It’s been said that Google is working out agreements with individual news outlets, rather than the Australian government. As of now, they’ve made deals with News Corp, Nine Fairfax, Seven West Media, The Guardian, and ACM. That’s great news for us all because it means that we can keep on truckin’ with our SEO services and our digital marketing agency can keep optimising out clients’ websites with Google’s algorithm in mind.

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Things between Facebook and Australia came to a head last week on Thursday the 18th when Facebook banned Australian news articles from being shared across the platform, in response to their displeasure with the new code. You might have noticed that Australian news pages on Facebook (such as 9NEWS, ABC Australia, and the Sydney Morning Herald) all but disappeared – well, they still existed, but their feeds were wiped for any users viewing it from Australia. Instead of showing recent posts and articles, their Facebook feeds said “No posts yet”.

Last week on Tuesday the 23rd, the legislation passed the Senate which means “the government can now make Facebook and Google negotiate with news producers to pay for content that appears on search engines or social media.”

As of the 26th of February, after an 8 day news blackout, Facebook has since restored Australian news pages and is allowing their content to be shared once again. This is as a result of some revisions being made to the news media bargaining code that both parties are in agreement on.

So it’s looking like everything’s going to be ok in the online world, with Australians being able to use Google and Facebook the way they have been, no restrictions or blackouts forthcoming. Hurrah!

Want to learn more about how to use Facebook for your business? Contact the Mildura digital marketing experts at Rock Solid Marketing today!

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