Statement: Facebook to Restrict Sharing of News in Australia

Facebook has announced it will limit sharing and viewing of news by publishers and users in Australia on its platform, in response to the proposed news media bargaining code in the country, which would, among other things, require the dominant tech platforms to negotiate with and compensate news publishers in Australia for use of their content.

News Media Alliance President & CEO, David Chavern, stated, “It is misguided for Facebook to restrict the sharing of high-quality journalism on its platform. It is well-established that in the absence of real news, misinformation, disinformation, and hate speech flourish – a problem Facebook is all too familiar with. Prioritizing news on its platform is a solution that would be mutually beneficial to both publishers and Facebook. Facebook’s abrupt action will hurt its users and, ultimately, backfire.”

The Alliance supports the bargaining code in Australia and applauds the continued progress of the legislation through Parliament. The code will help ensure news publishers of all sizes receive fair compensation for use of their content. The Alliance supports similar legislation being adopted in the United States, such as the Journalism Competition & Preservation Act, which would allow news publishers to negotiate collectively with the tech platforms for use of their content.

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