Morrison labels Facebook ‘arrogant’, refuses to back down on media code
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has labelled Facebook’s decision to ban Australian news from the platform as “arrogant” and “disappointing”.
Ironically posting on Facebook, Mr Morrison said the social media giant had sought to “unfriend Australia”, and essential information and health services were blocked.
He said he was in “regular contact” with leaders of other nations, who were interested in the tense to-and-fro between the government and Facebook.
Despite the ban, Mr Morrison said he intends to continue legislating the government’s proposed news media bargaining code.
“We will not be intimidated by BigTech seeking to pressure our Parliament as it votes on our important News Media Bargaining Code,” Mr Morrison wrote.
“Just as we weren’t intimidated when Amazon threatened to leave the country and when Australia drew other nations together to combat the publishing of terrorist content on social media platforms.
The PM said technology companies like Facebook and Google “may be changing the world, but that doesn’t mean they run it”.
“These actions will only confirm the concerns that an increasing number of countries are expressing about the behaviour of BigTech companies who think they are bigger than governments and that the rules should not apply to them,” Mr Morrison said.
Facebook turned off viewing or sharing Australian news this morning in response to the code going before parliament.
Indefinitely, Australian users cannot share links or view content produced by Australian news publishers.
Many peripheral pages – such as emergency services and charities – were caught up in the ban.
The majority of their pages have been restored.