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Facebook is’school playground harassment’ in the Australian News line, UK media boss said Facebook

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Facebook moving to block all media content in Australia shows why countries need strong regulations to stop tech companies from acting like bullies in schools.

Henry Faure Walker, president of the news media association, said what Facebook banned during the epidemic was a classic example of monopoly power that became harassing school grounds.

Australians have been blocked from viewing or sharing news on social networks over whether Facebook has to pay media companies to display their content.

Facebook opposes the federal government’s news media code, which requires commercial transactions with news media that drive traffic to the platform through links, or subject to forced arbitration for price settlement. Google and Facebook said the code unfairly penalized their platform.

Aimed at leveling the field of competition between tech companies and struggling publishers, the bill is expected to pass by the Australian Parliament within days, and Google is expected to settle preemptive deals with multiple stores in recent days.

Used by 18 million Australians, Facebook blocked news sharing overnight on Wednesday and cleaned up pages for media companies, including public broadcast TV, radio and non-news pages. Like the Community, Women’s Health, and Domestic Violence Support pages, government pages including wildfires, mental health, emergency services, and meteorology have also been blocked.

Faure Walker said: Facebook’s action in Australia shows exactly why jurisdictions around the world, including the UK, are needed to provide strong regulation to create a true level of play between tech giants and news publishers.

Julian Knight, chairman of the Digital, Cultural, Media and Sports Committee of the British Parliament, told Reuters: .

We represent people and sorry but you can’t run bulldozers and if you think Facebook will do that, you will face long-term rage like big oil and cigarettes.

The Guardian Media Group, which owns the Guardian and Observer, said Facebook’s action paved the way for the spread of misinformation at a time when facts and clarity were desperately needed.

The spokesperson believes public interest journalism must be as widely available as possible to have a healthy functioning democracy. We have consistently argued that governments should play a role in establishing fair and transparent regulations for online platforms.

A few hours before Facebook moved on, Google and Rupert Murdox News Corporation entered into a multi-year partnership that paid search engines for journalism from news sites around the world, including The Wall Street Journal, The Times, and Australia.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Thursday that if Facebook comes into force, more and more countries are expressing the behavior of tech giants that they think are bigger than their governments and confirm concerns that the rules should not apply. .

He wrote on Facebook: Facebook’s behavior of not making friends with Australia today has been disappointing as well as discontinuing essential information services for health and emergency services. They may be changing the world, but that doesn’t mean they run it.

Federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the ban confirmed the tremendous market dominance of these media digital giants. These digital giants are very, very large in our economy and in the digital environment. The Morrison government is committed to legislating and implementing this code.

Tim OConnor of Amnesty International Australia says private companies are extremely concerned about their willingness to control access to information on which people depend. Facebook’s actions make it clear why allowing a company to exercise such a dominant force over our information ecosystem threatens human rights.

Elaine Pearson, Australian director of Human Rights Watch Australia, said it was a turning point in a dangerous case. Blocking access to sensitive information across the country in the middle of the night is unconscionable.

Facebook criticized the Australian government’s definition of news content in media negotiations code for a careless total ban on government pages for government-rejected interpretations.

A Facebook spokesman said today’s announcement should not affect government pages. The company said it would lift the ban on that page, and by noon on Thursday, some pages were restored, including pages operated by the Meteorological Department and the State Department of Health.

Facebook claims that the UK media market has been different since launching Facebook News through partnerships with publishers such as The Daily Distribution Group, Financial Times, The Guardian, and Telegraph.

EU countries are not facing the same situation as Australia because of the new copyright rules protecting publishers in Europe, Block executives said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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