Facebook unfriends Australia: news sites go dark in content row


Australians woke to empty news feeds on their Facebook Inc pages on Thursday, 18th February 2021, after the social media giant blocked all media content in a surprise and dramatic escalation of a dispute with the government over paying for content.


"Facebook's actions to unfriend Australia today, cutting off essential information services on health and emergency services, were as arrogant as they were disappointing. These actions will only confirm the concerns that an increasing number of countries are expressing about the behaviour of Big Tech companies who think they are bigger than governments and that the rules should not apply to them," Prime Minister Scott Morrison wrote on his own Facebook page.


The move was swiftly criticised by news producers, politicians and human rights advocates, particularly as it became clear that official health pages, emergency safety warnings and welfare networks had all been scrubbed from the site along with news.


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