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Covering the Central Highlands
Central West Queensland

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18 February, 2021

Facebook bans Australian Media - severe impact felt across communities

THE LONGREACH Printing Company's three newspapers; The Longreach Leader, The Highlands Leader and the Callide Dawson Leader are among countless Australian media publications to have had a Facebook shut down this morning.


Facebook is behind media shut downs across the board on its site. PHOTO:: JD Lasica

THE LONGREACH Printing Company's three newspapers; The Longreach Leader, The Highlands Leader and the Callide Dawson Leader are among countless Australian media publications to have had a Facebook shutdown this morning.

Australian news sites across the country have had Facebook pages banned, as the social media giant continues its feud with the Federal Government.

Facebook said it made the move in response to the government's proposed media bargaining laws, which would force major tech giants to pay Australian news outlets for their content.

The ongoing dispute is likely to continue well into 2024.

In the meantime, you can stay up to date with the Leaders via our websites or weekly papers.

The Morrison Government introduced a world-leading binding code into the Parliament to address the bargaining power imbalance between news media businesses and digital platforms.

The News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code was developed after extensive public consultation spanning almost three years.

The Code will ensure that news media businesses are fairly remunerated for the content they generate, helping to sustain public interest journalism in Australia.

Facebook is preventing people inside Australia from accessing news stories on its platform.

In addition, Facebook users internationally will not be able to view or share news stories from Australian outlets.

The moves are a response to legislation that will force social media platforms to pay Australian news organizations for links shared on its sites.

Google has reached a deal with Rupert Murdoch, who owns News Corp, Fox News and The Wall Street Journal, to pay for its journalism.

However, Facebook decided to close its doors until firm decisions are made, rather than bargain with news publishers in Australia.

Only Facebook’s Newsfeed has been impacted by Australian laws governing news and it would appear the tech giant has not extended its ban to its other social networks Instagram and WhatsApp so far.

The pages of news sites and their posts still appear on Instagram and older posts remain untouched.

As the ACCC and Australian Government work to finalise the draft legislation, the Longreach Printing Company hopes the online community will engage in constructive discussions across other online platforms and continue to support digital local news.  


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