Facebook said Wednesday that it is preventing people inside Australia from accessing news stories on its platform. In addition, Facebook users elsewhere will not be able to view or share news stories from Australian outlets. The moves are a response to proposed legislation that would force social media platforms to pay Australian news organizations for links shared on its sites.
Facebook's announcement came the same day Google said it had reached a deal with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., which owns The Wall Street Journal, to pay for its journalism.
Facebook, however, chose the nuclear option rather than bargain with news publishers in Australia.
"Today we made an incredibly difficult decision to restrict the availability of news on Facebook in Australia," said Campbell Brown, Facebook's vice president of global news partnerships, in a blog post. "What the proposed law introduced in Australia fails to recognize is the fundamental nature of the relationship between our platform and publishers."