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Calls to boycott Facebook trend on Twitter after news goes dark in Australia

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on February 18, 2021

Many users also pointed out the impact of the ban on news from helpful sources

Facebook’s new restrictions on news on the platform in Australia drew sharp criticism from users.

Hashtags such as #deletefacebook, #FacebookWeNeedToTalk and #BoycottZuckerberg began trending on Twitter as Facebook announced its decision on restricting publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content in response to Australia’s proposed new Media Bargaining law.

“I haven’t logged onto Facebook in ages, and I’m glad I haven’t. This type of news censorship is not only undemocratic, but entirely suppressive. It sets a perilous precedent that leverages the massive amount of influence tech companies have. It’s time to #DeleteFacebook,” tweeted a user.

“You need to #DeleteFacebook because their model is broken, there’s no fix, just replacement. Decentralization is the answer,” wrote another.

Many users also pointed out the impact of the ban on news from helpful sources.

“Government pages should not be impacted. And yet they are. #sofacebook #DeleteFacebook #FacebookAustralia #facebooknews,” tweeted a user.

Also read: Criticism against Facebook after its sudden move blocking vital content in Australia

“What an absolute joke! How dare you censor the news. I’ve lost the ability to even see posts from Breast Cancer Awareness pages, Animal protection...etc. This is a disgrace! #Zuckerberg #FacebookAustralia #FB #profitovereverything #DeleteFacebook,” another user wrote.

Facebook made the decision following a new media bargaining code proposed by the Australian Government which will require the tech giant to pay for news shared on its platform.

“The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content. 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,” William Easton, Managing Director, Facebook Australia & New Zealand wrote in a blog post.

Also read: Facebook news goes dark in Australia as content spat escalates

The restrictions will impact Australian as well as international publications.

The social media major, clarifying policies regarding information from important sources, said that it will continue to promote dedicated information hubs.

“We recognise it’s important to connect people to authoritative information and we will continue to promote dedicated information hubs like the Covid-19 Information Centre, that connects Australians with relevant health information,” it said.

Published on February 18, 2021

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