Feb, 18th 2021 – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says that his government will not be intimidated by Facebook blocking news feeds to users. Morrison has termed the move that requires Tech giants to pay for news content on their platforms as arrogant and disappointing.
In a statement, Mr. Harrison said, “Facebook’s actions to unfriend Australia today, cutting off essential information services on health and emergency services, were as arrogant as they were disappointing.”
He added, “I am in regular contact with the leaders of other nations on these issues. We simply won’t be intimidated.”
On its part, Facebook says its verdict is a response to a proposed law in the country. Several government health and emergency pages were also blocked. Facebook later asserted this was a mistake and many of these pages are now back online.
Mr. Harrison urged Facebook to work explicitly with the government just like Google. Josh Frydenberg, the Treasurer said that the ban on news information has a huge impact on the community as more than 15 million Australians visit the site on a monthly basis.
Mr. Harrison’s concerns echo concerns expressed by a number of countries about the behaviour of tech companies who think they are bigger than the governments, where the rules should not apply to them.
He said, “They may be changing the world, but that doesn’t mean they run it. We will not be intimidated by BigTech seeking to pressure our Parliament as it votes on our important News Media Bargaining Code.”