In the dispute over a planned media law for digital platforms, the US social media giant Facebook blocked news content as well as weather and disaster warnings from authorities in Australia from Thursday. It is about a planned levy in favor of domestic media, which the group rejects.
“This is an alarming and dangerous development,” said human rights organization Human Rights Watch on Thursday. To cut off access to vital information for an entire country in the middle of the night is unscrupulous. It is the bushfire season in Western Australia, and heavy rainfall is causing flooding in the east of the country.
Both Facebook and Google parent company Alphabet had previously described Australia’s attempt to demand a levy in favor of domestic media for their content as impracticable. Both threatened to cease their services in Australia in January if the regulation came into force. In the past few days, Google took the reins into their own hands and signed several preliminary contracts with local media. The law is expected to be passed by parliament in the coming days. (Reuters)