Facebook in hot water over its step to ‘bully democracy’ in Australia


News providers, politicians, and civil society groups in the US and the UK have reportedly rounded up on Facebook and slammed that the company’s decision to effectively block all media content on its platform in Australia should hasten moves for bringing its powers under control. As per reliable sources, the social media giant stopped its 18 million users in Australia from sharing or viewing news stories overnight in a mounting argument over whether it should have to reimburse media companies for its content. The move is reportedly censured as an effort to bully a democracy and intimidating to bring a whole country to its knees. However, according to the company, the new rules proposed by the Australian government disregard the realities of relationship Facebook has with news publishers. The Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, has called Facebook’s actions “arrogant and disappointing” in equal measure. As per the chair of the British Parliament’s digital, culture, media, and sport committee, Julian Knight, the bullyboy action undertaken by Facebook in Australia will burn a desire of going further among legislators at the global level. According to sources, Facebook’s adoption of a hard line stance in the dispute comes days prior to a vote on the news media code in Australia’s Upper House that is anticipated to pass. The new rules would require Google and Facebook to reach commercial transactions with news outlets whose links might direct traffic to their platforms or be subjected to pressurized arbitration for agreeing a price. The legislation is extensively seen as a test case for regulators across the world considering a push for extracting more revenue from internet giants for content providers. However, while Facebook’s action will be witnessed as an effort to avoid taking on a precedent which could affect its business across the globe, the unintended results of the step it has taken has immediately tangled its case against the Australian government. Source credit: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/feb/18/facebook-condemned-in-uk-and-us-for-attempt-to-bully-democracy