Australia ‘will not be intimidated’ by tech giant, says PM Morrison

Australia 'will not be intimidated' by tech giant, says PM Morrison
Pages like that of national broadcaster ABC have been blocked. Source: Reuters
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: Australian Prime Minister has said his government will not be intimidated by Facebook blocking news feeds in the country.

Scott Morrison described the move to “unfriend Australia” as arrogant and disappointing.

Facebook is responding to a proposed law which would make other giant tech companies pay for news content on their platforms.

On Thursday, Australians woke up to find that Facebook pages of all global and local news sites were unavailable.

People outside Australia are also unable to read or access any Australian news publications on the platform.

Several government emergency and health pages were also blocked. Facebook later said this was a mistake and many of these pages are now back online.

Facebook and Google have fought the proposed aw because they say it does not reflect how the internet works, and unfairly “penalises” their platforms.

However, in contrast to Facebook, Google recently signed payment deals with three major Australian media outlets.

Facebook’s desicion came into effect just hours after Google agreed to pay Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp for content from news sites across its media empire.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that big tech companies might be changing the world but this did not mean they should run it.

Mr Morrison said: “Facebook’s actions to unfriend Australia today, cutting off essential information services on health and emergency services, were as arrogant as they were disappointing.”

“I am in regular contact with the leaders of other nations on these issues. We simply won’t be intimidated,” he added.

You may read: Facebook blocks viewing or sharing news content in Australia