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Facebook Bans Australian Content in Response to Proposed Media Bargaining Laws

Facebook has reacted to proposed media bargaining laws from the Australian government by banning the sharing of all local news content.

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Facebook has chosen the nuclear option and banned Australian news from its platform.

Brett Jordan/Unsplash

It’s the news that every Australian publication dreaded, and ironically, the story that many consumers will be unable to see, but today brings with it Facebook’s decision to block local publishers from sharing content on their platform.

For those who have been paying attention to the news over the last few months, it would come as no surprise to learn of Facebook’s draconian response to the Australian government’s proposed media bargaining laws, which would force tech outlets such as Facebook to pay local news outlets for the content they share.

While Facebook hit back at the proposed law, noting that lawmakers completely misunderstood the relationship between the social media platform and publishers, a lack of willingness to back down from the law saw tech giant forced to disallow any Australian news content to be shared on the platform.

Undoubtedly, this has since been met with widespread criticism. Not only does it mean that those outside of Australia are unable to share homegrown content (be it informative or comedic), but the ban also extends to where it’s needed most, with emergency, health, and government services unable to share news on their own feeds – a vital means of communication during a pandemic.

This decision also affects publications such as Rolling Stone, who along with the other titles across The Brag Media, are now unable to share content out to those who enjoy it the most. Thankfully, we started preparing for this day in 2020. When the industry whispers turned to stern threats we launched The Brag Observer, our newsletter network.

We launched with newsletter categories for fans of Indie Rock, Hip-Hop, Live Music, Comedy, Gaming, Food & Drink, Vegan, Travel, and much more. We’re still growing our list of categories via a fan-voted system where our fans have been requesting newsletters based on what they love.

This platform has grown to 300,000 fans who get all the latest stories about tours, festivals and artists right to their inboxes. This allows us to continue to do the work we do with artists and promoters, and also allows fans to not miss anything, or to only see what is deemed permissible by the powers that be at Facebook..

The Brag Media’s publications like Tone Deaf, Rolling Stone Australia, Variety, The Industry Observer and Don’t Bore Us all distribute their content via The Brag Observer.

If you want to continue to support Australian music, and Australian music journalism, please join a Brag Observer newsletter.