On Wednesday Facebook made a stirring decision to block certain groups of Australians from sharing news. Fire and emergency services, non-profit organizations and state health agencies are among the groups that have been banned from the platform.
Currently, Australian officials have proposed legislation that would force tech firms to pay news publishers for content in an attempt to combat misinformation and fake news.
Some groups, like the FoodBank Australia and Queensland Health, are questioning why they were part of the group that has been banned. Companies and non-profit organizations like these are outraged by the banning, stating that, although Facebook isn’t the only way to reach people, it is a significant one. And with the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccine program rolling out, communicating this information to the general public on all social and news platforms is critical. Some of these pages are back up and running, but many other pages, including government politicians, are still unable to login and share content.
Facebook has been under scrutiny by the public for the last few years with struggles to contain the distribution of misinformation. Their move to block real news and support services might just be the last nail in the coffin for many Facebook users.