Facebook’s move to block all media content in Australia shows why countries around the world need strict regulations to prevent tech giants from acting like “schoolyard bullies,” the head of the UK news media trading group said.
Henry Faure Walker, chairman of the News Media Association, said the ban on Facebook during a global pandemic was “a classic example of a monopoly power being the schoolyard bully trying to maintain its dominant position with little consideration of the citizens and customers it faces supposedly serves to protect “.
“Facebook’s actions in Australia show exactly why we need jurisdictions around the world, including the UK, to ensure robust regulation and create a truly equal game between the tech giants and news publishers.”
The social media giant shocked Australia on Thursday when it blocked all media content from its platform, leading to a staggering escalation of a dispute with the government over payment for content.
The move came after Scott Morrison’s administration drafted a law requiring Facebook and Google to do commercial deals with news outlets whose links direct traffic to their platforms, or to go through enforced arbitration to agree a price.
Legislation, which is expected to be passed by the Australian Parliament within a few days, has prompted Google in recent days to do preventative deals with multiple outlets.
Facebook said the law fundamentally “misunderstands” the relationship between itself and its publishers and faces a tough decision to follow or prohibit news content.
Facebook argues the UK media market is different after Facebook News was launched through partnerships with publishers such as the Daily Mail group, Financial Times, Guardian and Telegraph.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)