Facebook, the Australian Government and Me

“Thank you for reaching out. In response to Australian government legislation, Facebook restricts the posting of news links and all posts from news Pages in Australia. Globally, the posting and sharing of news links from Australian publications is restricted. We are working on restoring any pages that have been restricted in error.”

That was the email I got yesterday from Facebook’s help centre after Facebook put a blanket ban on Australians accessing news on their platform. They acted in advance of the Australian government’s proposed legislation or new media code requiring that Facebook pay for news content after the Australian branch of the Rupert Murdoch empire News corp kicked up a stink over lost advertising revenue. The government chose to include a very broad definition of ‘media’ to include any and all publications. Facebook then took that definition and went ahead with the ban.

We can’t see any news at all on Facebook. Not only Australian news, but all international news as well. My newsfeed is now so incredibly dull I can scarcely be bothered scrolling.

Without any warning, Australians woke up to discover their Facebook pages had been removed or their page content wiped. Emergency services and health advice pages were quickly restored when it became apparent Facebook had overreached. But for authors like me who have a website where they showcase their books and reviews and more, the ban is still in place.

My Facebook page has been wiped of all content and I cannot post there any more. I unable to share a link to my website on my Facebook profile, and I cannot share it in any Facebook group. Neither can any other Australian. If I get an overseas friend to post my website link in one of my Facebook groups or anywhere on Facebook, I and no other Australian can see the post. All because my author website has been deemed an Australian publication.

It feels so extreme. This sudden and dramatic action by Facebook brings home how vulnerable ordinary citizens are. We rely on tech giants in a vast array of ways. And the landscape can change with the flick of a switch and suddenly, what we treated as a basic human right of sorts, has gone.

What really gets me riled is this situation that ordinary Australians are in is entirely the result of an advertising-revenue battle between the Murdoch empire, our rather bullish and myopic government, and a tech giant majoring in zero empathy. We are just collateral.

Published by isobelblackthorn

Isobel Blackthorn is an award-winning author of mysteries, thrillers and historical fiction. She holds a PhD in Western Esotericism for her groundbreaking study of the Alice Bailey books. She has a passion for social justice, philosophy, current affairs, books and art.

2 thoughts on “Facebook, the Australian Government and Me

  1. So sorry you’re having to go through all this,  Isobel. I’m fuming for you. People talk about other sites like MeWe,  Parler and Telegram but they’re full of far right extremists and conspiracy theorists, it seems. I do hope things can be restored to some kind of normal for you and all concerned. Most of my Australian author contacts seem to favour Instagram.  With love to you.  Moyra XXX 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Soul to Spirit: The New Spiritual Psychology

Becoming Human, Becoming Soul, Becoming Spirit

In the Dark Space

The Dark Side from the Inside - Crime Writing and Reviews from Dark Places

Bookinton

Book Blogging , Short Stories , Reviews , literary web-series and EVERYTHING FICTION !

The Book Decoder

Book Reviews By A Geek

Mitch Horowitz

Author • Lecturer • Narrator

The Hard Hat Book Site

Book Reviews, Author Interviews, Ideas and Scandals

ARMAND ROSAMILIA

Official Site for Author Armand Rosamilia

BOOKS FROM DUSK TILL DAWN

Each night I TRAVEL THE WORLD, I LIVE IN THE MIND OF KILLERS AND WALK AT THE SIDE OF HEROES

Passport Overused

Showing the beauty of this world through the people, places and culture

Booknvolume

For the Love of Words, Laughter, Inspiration (and the odd sexy split infinitive.)

THE BLOGGING STATION

LIFESTYLE, BEAUTY AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN

This Is My Truth Now

Author, Inspirational Blogger, Book Reviewer & Promoter (James J. Cudney)

Frankly Wright

I give you my opinion whether you ask for it or not.

a good book, a good life

comments on books by Ann Creber

Carmel Bendon - author

Writing tales of then and now and the in-between

mamalovestoread.co.uk

All things gothic, horror and dark fiction

%d bloggers like this: