Despite being warned multiple times, the Australian Government said Facebook’s decision to ban news on its platforms in Australia took them by surprise.
At a press conference on Thursday, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher told reporters they didn’t have any forewarning about Facebook’s response to the proposed news media bargaining code.
“We certainly weren’t given any notice by Facebook,” Frydenberg said.
This is despite Facebook repeatedly suggesting that the company would restrict news if the news media bargaining code went through.
Now that Facebook has banned news — where to from here?
The government insists that they’re standing strong and won’t back done from passing the news media bargaining code law as early as next week week.
The other tech giant subject to the legislation, Google, has signed multiple agreements with big Australian publishers rather than pulling their services.
As of now, Facebook hasn’t signed any agreements. And its decision to ban news in Australia is just that: a decision it has voluntarily made.