Get the most updated and recent current affair content on

Facebook news goes dark in Australia

  • Be N By IAS, Delhi
  • 18, Feb 2021
Image Not Found

For: GS-3: Science & Technology, IPRs


  • Australians woke to empty news feeds on their Facebook Inc pages on Thursday after the social media giant blocked all media content in a surprise and dramatic escalation of a dispute with the Australian government over paying for content.
  • The changes made by Facebook both:
    • Wiped clean pages operated by news outlets and
    • Removed posts by individual users sharing Australian news.


  • Information blackout: The move was swiftly criticised by news producers, politicians and human rights advocates, many of whom pointed out that official health and meteorology information had also been scrubbed during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Damaged reputation of FB: “Facebook was wrong, Facebook’s actions were unnecessary, they were heavy-handed, and they will damage its reputation here in Australia,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said.
  • No Warning: Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg gave no warning of the news shutdown when the pair spoke over the weekend about looming laws that will force them to pay local publishers for content.


  • Facebook v. Google: Facebook’s drastic move represents a split from search giant Google after they initially joined together to campaign against the laws.
  • Campaigned Together: Both FB & Google had threatened to cancel services in Australia, but Google has instead sealed deals with several outlets in recent days.
  • Australian law: It would require Facebook and Google to reach commercial deals with news outlets, whose links drive traffic to their platforms, or be subjected to forced arbitration to agree a price.
  • Fundamentally misunderstands: Facebook said that the law “fundamentally misunderstands” the relationship between itself and publishers and it faced a stark choice of attempting to comply or banning news content.

SOURCE: The Hindu