Facebook has announced that it has blocked Australians from viewing and sharing news on the social networking platform because of proposed laws in the country to pay for journalism.
The move drew criticism from news producers, politicians, and human rights advocates, particularly as it became clear that official health pages, emergency safety warnings, and welfare networks had also been barred from the social networking site along with news websites.
Australian publishers can continue to publish news on Facebook, but links and posts can’t be viewed or shared by the Australian audience, Facebook said in a statement.
“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 during a televised news conference.
The changes made by Facebook barred pages run by news outlets and removed posts by individual users sharing Australian news.
Meanwhile, #DeleteFacebook movement has gained traction across Australia.