Social media giant bans news content

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Australians woke to the news today that Facebook was banning publishers, including the Newcastle Weekly, from sharing local, national or international news content.  

It’s in response to a proposed Australian Government media bargaining law that would require the social media giant to pay for its news content. 

A statement from Facebook Australia and New Zealand Managing Director William Easton said it left the company with a “stark choice”.

“The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content,” he said. 

“It has left us facing a stark choice: attempt to comply with a law that ignores the realities of this relationship or stop allowing news content on our services in Australia.

“With a heavy heart, we are choosing the latter.”

For Australian publishers, the ban means we are restricted from sharing or posting any content on Facebook Pages.

For international publishers, any content they post will not be viewed or shared with Australian audiences and for the general public, the ban means they cannot share or view national or international news.

However, it looks like it’s more than just publishers that have been affected by this ban.

The Bureau of Meteorology and The University of Newcastle were among a group of organisations that were wrongfully shut down.

A screen shot of The University of Newcastle, Australia Facebook page on Thursday 18 February.