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Australia slams ‘heavy-handed’ Fb information blackout – Occasions of India

SYDNEY: Australia’s authorities mentioned Thursday that Fb was “heavy-handed” and “wrong” for introducing an unprecedented native ban on sharing information in response to pending laws that might drive the social media big to pay for content material.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg mentioned the US agency gave no discover it could revoke customers’ capacity to put up hyperlinks to information articles or view the Fb pages of stories shops from anyplace on this planet.
“Facebook was wrong. Facebook’s actions were unnecessary, they were heavy-handed, and they will damage its reputation here in Australia,” he mentioned.
The shock transfer early Thursday got here as retaliation for legal guidelines proposed in Canberra that might drive social media giants to pay for Australian information content material shared on their websites.
Frydenberg mentioned the federal government remained “absolutely committed” to implementing its plan, which handed the Home of Representatives late Wednesday and is now earlier than the Senate.
“What today’s events do confirm for all Australians is the immense market power of these media digital giants,” he mentioned.
“These digital giants loom very, very large in our economy and on the digital landscape.”
Fb has been engaged a prolonged confrontation with Canberra over its regulatory push, which tech corporations worry may create a world precedent that would require dramatic adjustments and hit their enterprise mannequin.
Communications Minister Paul Fletcher had additionally raised issues that blocking information media on the favored platform in Australia may increase the unfold of misinformation.
“What they’re effectively saying to Australians is, ‘You will not find content on our platform which comes from an organisation which employs professional journalists, which has editorial policies, which has fact-checking processes’,” he mentioned.
“They’re effectively saying, ‘You will not find information that meets those standards of accuracy on our site’.
“That appears a really stunning place and one that’s unlikely to be within the long-term curiosity of their model.”
A number of non-news websites had been additionally caught up within the blackout Thursday — together with authorities well being departments, emergency companies, charities, Indigenous teams and even Fb’s personal web page.
A Fb spokesperson mentioned it could reverse these inadvertent measures, with some accounts restored inside hours.
The corporate mentioned Australian media shops had been additionally blocked for customers outdoors the nation.

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