What does Facebook do when quarreling with the Australian government? They block all media content for Australian citizens, apparently.
Many people woke up last week to find their news feeds wiped clean from important content. Much of this ranged from daily news, political and official health pages, to emergency safety and welfare networks. The loss of information comes after a dispute between big tech companies like Facebook and Google against the Australian government. A local law being discussed would require both Google and Facebook to maintain financial deals with news outlets who drive traffic to the platforms.
Facebook responded that the law “misunderstands” the relationship between the social media site and publishers, and that their options were either compliance or banning news content. They state that news only makes up 4% of views on their website. However, a study by the University of Canberra found that 21% of Australians use social media as their primary news source, while 39% use Facebook to receive news.
While the social networking site is holding firm in their decision to go against the grain, Google instead made preemptive deals with Australian news outlets.
By blocking important content, the tech giant is censoring access to vital health information, bush fire threat information, among other charity and non-government organization accounts. This decision to leave citizens in the dark without warning should serve as a reminder to us all.
It’s easy to think that you’re in control of your data, but a lack of guidelines and legislation means it’s the social media users who are suffering in the end. While some web pages on the platform have been restored, others remain wiped clean of their content.
Remember to make sure you really know Who’s Got Your Data.
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