You might have heard something on the news about how the tech giants are putting the squeeze on Australian publishers. It's in response to government legislation that would require the tech giants to pay publishers for the news posted on their platforms. Well, overnight Facebook made good on its threat, preventing Australian publishers from publishing anything at all on Facebook.
And it's not just the big news outlets like The Guardian and the ABC that are affected. Yours truly is among the outlets that have had our Facebook pages scrubbed, as are many of our friends and clients.
But who needs Mark Zuckerberg to have a good time? Bookmark these pages.
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We don't want to be too navel-gazey and tell you Facebook's ban is going to hurt us. But it's worth pointing out that we're not the only ones swept up in this. Malthouse Theatre's Facebook page has also been scrubbed, as has the page belonging to art gallery Buxton Contemporary. After the annus horribilis that was 2020 for arts and culture venues in Melbourne, it seems a particular kick in the guts to prevent them from being able to tell people about upcoming exhibitions and shows.
And it's not just arts and culture venues. Hospitality venues like the Garden State Hotel have also had their entire Facebook presence deleted. Culture and hospitality venues are reeling from Facebook's decision, particularly coming as it does hot on the heels of Melbourne's recent snap lockdown.
Facebook has long argued in defamation proceedings that it is not a publisher. But according to its own ban on publishers, well...
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