Are you someone who gets all of their news off social media?
Can you imagine not being able to get your daily intake of local news off your favorite social media service?
Well, users of Facebook in Australia will now become accustomed to this reality, as the Big Tech giants have moved to ban Facebook users in Australia from sharing and accessing news about the country on its service.
The move comes after Facebook has been throwing the ban hammer around in recent months, most notably after they permanently banned the then President Donald Trump off their platform.
A case of classic irony?
Social media companies love to regulate content on their sites, acting more as publishers rather than platforms.
So, when a government attempts to regulate these companies, they react poorly, as Facebook has done in this instance.
On Wednesday, Facebook released a statement saying that citizens of Australia who use Facebook will no longer be able to access local or international news regarding the issues of the country.
This sets a very, very dangerous precedent, one that’s far greater than when the firm silenced President Trump.
Facebook has now effectively told the world that they can, and will, regulate news that only aligns with their interests, instead of the interests of the general public and the users of their site.
Australia wants Facebook to pay for publishing news
This comes after the Australian Senate passed a bill that would force tech companies like Facebook, to pay news publishers for the content that they would distribute on the social media site.
The ban has also caused numerous other pages on Facebook to be affected, such as Australian emergency services, charities for domestic violence, health agencies, and other organizations that rely on social media to spread information to the people of Australia.
The Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, says that this ban will now confirm the fears the rest of the world has had regarding the power of social media companies, claiming that they believe they are bigger than the governments of the world.
The ban of Australian news is just the next phase in a worldwide tussle Facebook has been having with the governments of the world, particularly in Europe.
The government of Poland introduced a law that would fine social media firms $13.5 million if they censored a user who has not broken Polish law.
This comes after the Polish government was very critical of Facebook and Twitter for removing President Trump from their sites, for a charge he has now been acquitted from.
Facebook’s attempt to censor and regulate news how they see fit should be met with denouncement from across the world, as if we allow these Big Tech companies the power to control the news that we take in, then we will all be subject to any hidden agenda these firms may have, whether that be about the political or the general.
News cannot be censored.