On Thursday Facebook implemented its ban on Australians sharing or viewing news. And as it turns out, it has also hit satire news sites like The Onion and The Betoota Advocate.
Reporter Casey Briggs first brought this to light on Twitter. He discovered that the Facebook Pages for Australian satire sites The Betoota Advocate, The Shovel and The Chaser had all been nerfed.
The Betoota Advocate, The Chaser and The Shovel are all gone too pic.twitter.com/5cPUijYFeI
— casey briggs (@CaseyBriggs) February 17, 2021
Gizmodo Australia also tested these pages and got the same result. While the pages still exist, clicking into them will reveal a ‘no posts yet’ message.
We also tested this with U.S. satire site, The Onion, and its posts were also no longer visible for Australians.
It’s currently unclear whether this is a mistake or not. After all, these sites could be mistaken for regular news by Facebook’s algorithm.
In response, the Betoota Advocate has released a statement via Twitter about its ban.
— The Betoota Advocate (@BetootaAdvocate) February 17, 2021
“The Betoota Advocate has survived drought, flood, fires and the 1991 Wool Crash,” it reads.
“We will survive this break down in negotiations between our government and the tech platforms as well.”
Gizmodo Australia has reached out to Facebook locally, asking whether satire news site content will continue to be banned on its platform in the future.
All three Aussie satire Facebook sites are back! Sadly The Onion is still down For Australian Facebook users.
Wait, what Facebook ban?
On Thursday Facebook announced it is banning Australians from sharing and seeing news on its platform. Its international users will also no longer be able to see news articles published by Australian media.
The ban is effective immediately, as we can see above with its impact on satire publications. You can read more about how it will effect you here.
The announcement was made in a blog post by Facebook Australia and New Zealand’s managing director, William Easton.
“In response to Australia’s proposed new Media Bargaining law, Facebook will restrict publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content,” the post said.
Facebook said it has done this due to Australia’s proposed Media Bargaining Law.
If the law passes it would force Google and Facebook to pay for news content that is shown on their platforms.
“In response to Australia’s proposed new Media Bargaining law, Facebook will restrict publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content,” the blog post read.