On February 18 Australian students visiting the Semper Floreat Facebook page discovered a lack of content as Facebook blocked Australian’s from viewing news on Facebook in response to the Australian Government’s attempts to force tech companies to pay publishers for news that appears in people’s feeds.
However the ban has not limited to news organizations with multiple government health pages being initially blocked.
The QUT Guild has seen their Facebook page impacted with students unable to see important updates from the Guild, while the UQ Union Facebook page has so far remained unaffected.
Speaking to the ABC, Federal Communications Minister, Paul Fletcher, said the government would continue to move ahead with plans to force tech companies to pay for news displayed in their feeds.
Mr Fletcher also said that Facebook’s decision could cause Australian’s to question whether they trusted the social media company.
“At a time when there are already questions about the credibility of information on Facebook, that is something that they will obviously need to think about.” Mr Fletcher told the ABC.
“Facebook needs to think very carefully about what this means for its reputation and standing”
In a statement The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance criticized the move by Facebook.
“The decision made overnight by Facebook is the desperate act of a company with too much power that thinks it is beyond the reach of any government.”
Semper Floreat is working on solutions to keep our content easily accessible.