- Tram Ho
On the morning of February 18, Australians woke up to one more shocking news: Facebook banned all news on its platform from Australian citizens. The social network’s shocking decision is in response to the country’s Media Bargaining bill. The federal government wants to push ahead with plans to force major tech firms to pay for press news.
The move made many people call for a boycott of Mark Zuckerberg’s company. They criticized the decision to be no different from bullying, designed to punish Australian audiences. That means that Australian users can no longer see or share news, while international users are not allowed to see news from Australia on Facebook.
Immediately after Facebook announced its decision, the news sites, reporters, organizations and readers of Australia … expressed their indignation. Professor Julie Leask, an expert from the Faculty of Medicine and Health University of Sydney, said the impact of this ban even more terrible given the current Covid-19 situation.
“The timing couldn’t be worse. Facebook censors anti-vaccine content “for public health” at the same time that prohibits users from accessing local news before the vaccination. Three days before conducting Covid-19 vaccination, Australians using Facebook as their primary source no longer had access to reliable information about vaccines from news organizations, government agencies, and health care. This must be the time when users have easy access to vaccine information, “he said.
Before the action of Facebook, Australian Treasury Secretary Josh Frydenberg stressed that the Australian government will remain attached to its plan without regard to the bullying behavior of the US technology firm. He revealed that Facebook did not inform the government of his decision. A few hours later, responding to the press, he was angry and confirmed: “Facebook was wrong. Facebook’s actions are not necessary. They will damage their reputation in Australia ”.
Facebook bans people from accessing government websites – whether it’s medical services, emergency services, the Meteorological Bureau, who are completely unrelated to a digital bill. “Today’s event affirms to all Australians of the enormous market power of the media giants.” According to the minister, the digital bill is extremely important to microeconomic reform. It was initiated by the Australian Prime Minister when he was Secretary of the Treasury.
Australia’s Communications Minister Paul Fletcher criticized Facebook’s stance. He said Australia has always made clear the point of wanting Google and Facebook to stay in the country, continue to play an important role in the digital economy. But when doing business here, they need to comply with the law set by the Australian Parliament. He also welcomed the agreement just reached between Google and the three domestic media companies. He called Facebook’s decision “unexpected” and bad for their image in the long run. “Of course, the community impact of this is huge.”
The international press such as BBC, CNBC, New York Post, Financial Times… simultaneously reported on the event. Reset Australia, a global organization that aims to combat digital threats to democracy, also condemns Facebook. CEO Chris Cooper said that the fact that Facebook blocked the news in the midst of the epidemic really showed how Zuckerberg “cared” about Australian society and community.
“Facebook is telling Australians that they would rather run a platform where banning, reducing the priority of true believing, to allow fake news to fill the void, rather than engage in efforts to regulate the truth,” he said. way makes sense. The difference between news and false news and its value to democracy’s function makes no sense to Facebook. Regulations that are detrimental to their immediate profits and the hostility in their response suggests the need for management ”.
He added that fake news is raging on Facebook and is now increasing. “Social media has fostered conspiracy theories and fake news, pushing people into a“ clapboard ”where all they see is fake news. The absence of news on the platform only increases the effect of this chamber.
Readers of news.com.au also expressed outrage, they called Facebook a bully and called for a boycott of the platform, directly accessing news websites. “If you need a reason to close your Facebook account, this is it,” commented one. Another wrote “Facebook needs to take responsibility for its actions”. “We live in an era of censorship and limited news,” said another.
Meanwhile, attention is also on what Facebook would look like without news. Some people have expressed horror when looking at the boring Facebook message board with fake news, conspiracy theories as well as the endless photos of parties and children of their friends. According to federal MP Rebekha Sharkie, people mainly read news from Facebook and other services. They will find an alternative if Facebook stops sharing any more news.
Source : Genk