FACEBOOK POKES BACK - Facebook vs News Media What You Need To Know

If you’re like us and painfully addicted to your phone - you might have noticed a serious lack of news being shared with you on FB when you woke up this morning. 

*quickly checks FB to see what we’re talking about* 

In response to Australia’s proposed new Media Bargaining Law, Facebook’s new policy blocks Australian news publishers and Australian users of Facebook from posting, viewing or sharing any news content whatsoever (now that’s a rude wakeup)

If you’ve been keeping up with the social giants lately (Facebook & Google), You’ll know that there has been some vigorous debate between them and the Australian government about who should control your digital footprint. 

Facebook stated that “Throughout the process, we have made clear to the Australian government for many months, the value exchange between Facebook and publishers runs in favour of the publishers - which is the reverse of what the legislation requires.”

According to Facebook, approximately 5.1 billion free referrals to Australian publishers were generated, amounting to an estimated $407 million AUD. 

How effected Facebook Pages are looking now that they're banned.

What does this mean? 

Australian publishers: Won’t be able to share or post content on Facebook Pages. Admins will still be able to access other features from their Facebook Page, including Page Insights and Creator Studio.

International publishers: Can still publish news content on Facebook, but as an Australian audience we won’t be able to view it. 

Australian users: Won’t be able to view or share Australian OR international news content on Facebook.  

International users: Won’t be able to view or share Australian news content on Facebook or content from Australian news pages. 

William Easton, Managing Director for Facebook Australia & New Zealand, outlined that the following changes will be made. Read the full article here. 

What are the implications? 

Many people rely on Facebook as their main news source (Yes, we’ve heard the old saying ‘shouldn’t trust everything you read on the internet’) but there’s no denying, removing this leaves a gap between Australian news and reaching the public 

As fact-checking processes go out the window, the credibility of news seen on Facebook rapidly decreases.

We’re predicting there will be a dramatic shift to EDM newsletters and Twitter and more PAID ADS. 

Small Australian news publishers who rely on social traffic as a primary method of website traffic, will be significantly impacted. Overnight the number of viewers of their articles and content will drastically fall away, ultimately impacting their entire business model. 

Here’s the hit list so far 

  • The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
  • Nine News 
  • 7 News 
  • News.com.au
  • Betoota advocate 
  • Punkee 
  • Broadsheet 
  • Pedestrian 
  • Good Food 
  • Harvey Norman (This one is a bit random 🤔there goes our leading news provider)

Government Health Departments alongside the Bureau of Meteorology were also blocked this morning but these pages have now been restored after public outcry about removing these pages during a global pandemic and severe weather warnings in some states. 

From an advertising perspective, Facebook hasn’t made any new changes to its advertising policies, (see our ios14 blog here

However, who knows how long this saga will last, with most of Australia up in arms the issue could be resolved sooner than we think. In the meantime, it looks like we’ll be swapping out our phones for a good old fashioned trip to Harvey Norman for our news fix.

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