Facebook announced Wednesday that it will be restricting Australian users from sharing or viewing news links on the platform. This is linked to proposed legislation from the Australian government dvertising giants Facebook and Google to pay news publishers directly for access to share their content. Facebook disclosed that just 4% of the content in Australian users’ feeds was news. “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,” Facebook’s Australian and New Zealand managing director Will Easton explained.
Easton said publishers stand to gain more from sharing content on Facebook than Facebook does. “We hope that in the future the Australian government will recognise the value we already provide and work with us to strengthen, rather than limit, our partnerships with publishers,” he said. News sites, including Guardian Australia, show no posts on their Facebook page as of Thursday morning. At the same prpblem, Google had a different answe and solution. in the past week, Google has signed agreements with some of Australia’s biggest publishers, including News Corp, Nine Entertainment, and Seven West Media for payment for its News Showcase product.