Australian Facebook users may soon find themselves unable to share news, the social media giant has warned, citing a new law which has pitted Big Tech firms against major media outlets demanding a cut of their revenue.
The draft regulation, proposed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), would mandate that platforms such as Facebook and Google give news organizations a piece of their digital marketing earnings. While supporters of the law argue the platforms unduly benefit from hosting news content, Facebook insists the ACCC “misunderstands the dynamics of the internet,” and that the regulation would force the company to bar Australian users from sharing news stories.
“The ACCC presumes that Facebook benefits most in its relationship with publishers, when in fact the reverse is true. News represents a fraction of what people see in their News Feed and is not a significant source of revenue for us,” Will Easton, the managing director for Facebook Australia and New Zealand, said in a statement on Monday.
Assuming this draft code becomes law, we will reluctantly stop allowing publishers and people in Australia from sharing local and international news on Facebook and Instagram. This is not our first choice – it is our last.