What is this Facebook Media Ban all about?
The Facebook Media Ban seems to be the news of the week, which feels a little paradoxical when you consider that it means all news media has disappeared from the popular platform.
With so much discussion out there at the moment, the Web Marketing Angels team thought we might help clarify what the Facebook Media Ban is all about. We’ve sifted through the long articles, reports, and commentary to bring you the basics.
So, here’s what has happened to media on Facebook, in a nutshell…
What has actually happened?
Facebook has blocked Australian users from viewing or sharing news. This means that all Australian news media outlets can no longer post content to their Facebook pages. It also means that anyone based in Australia – individuals and organisations alike – is banned from linking or sharing news articles from either domestic or international news websites.
Why did Facebook make this decision?
The Australian Federal Government directed the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) to develop the Media Bargaining Code, which means that social media companies and search engines such as Google would be required to compensate media outlets for the sharing of their intellectual property.
For years, traditional media companies have complained that the tech giants have been benefiting from the work of journalists. This led to an Inquiry and subsequently the Media Bargaining Code. The Bill was introduced in December 2020 and passed in the House of Representatives this week.
The Bill is still to be passed in the Senate, but while Google have been negotiating with Australian media outlets to use their content, Facebook took a different direction.
What is the fallout?
Well, it is clear that media groups have had a massive social media presence in recent years, and much of their news sharing has been driven by their use of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. That said, they still rely heavily on their print and online media publications, and Facebook is just a piece of the whole pie. Google’s negotiations will be pivotal in how the new legislation plays out.
It is the peripheral groups that will suffer the most from Facebook’s decision. Charities, government services groups, community support facilitators, and other non-news sites will all be significantly affected. Mark Zuckerberg has implemented a blanket ban so there will be no question regarding news-sharing on Facebook in Australia, but hopefully this will be revisited as discussions between the platform and the Australian Government continue.
Are there any benefits?
It’s hard to say, really. We’ll see over the coming weeks and months how this new law plays out in reality. On a more functional level, it could see levels drop in relation to aggressive behaviour, online bullying, and trolling. Some of the news outlet Facebook pages were notorious for heated discussions amongst individuals, and while healthy debate is one of the great things about social media, aggressive and violent language or personal attacks have been a persistent problem. Of course, this will not necessarily disappear – and some will most likely move to other platforms – but any progress is still progress when it comes to challenges with online conduct.
It will be interesting to see how the Facebook media ban unfolds moving forward. Whatever happens, Facebook is still going to be a force in the digital marketing realm, and Web Marketing Angels is still here to help our clients navigate that space.
Contact us today to find out more about how you can benefit from enhancing your marketing strategies and online presence.