Sydney Morning Herald: British MP urges Australians to stand firm against Facebook

‘Don’t let them bully you’: British MPs urge Australians to stand firm against Facebook blackout

The chair of the British Parliament’s committee for the media and technology says Facebook’s “irresponsible” decision to cut off news and official government feeds for Australian users constitutes “bullying” and will unite legislators from around the world into wanting to curb Big Tech’s abuse of its monopoly.

The Australian government has expressed shock and outrage at Facebook’s decision to stop Australian users from posting and sharing news content, as well as wiping the posts of some government authorities, MPs and charities.
Facebook has taken a hard line with Australia over its media bargaining code.

The Silicon Valley giant took the action to protest the proposed media bargaining code, which would force the company to pay Australian media organisations tens of millions of dollars in recognition of the news content shared on the site.

Kevin Brennan, a Labour MP who sits on the committee, said Facebook had exposed its own double standard.

“Mark Zuckerberg’s true colours have been exposed,” Brennan said.

“On one hand Facebook claims it can’t stop an Australian terrorist live-streaming a massacre but in a single change to its algorithm can cut off every Australian news organisation and a host of essential government services.

“This aggressive approach by Facebook towards Australia should serve as a warning to other countries that the market power they have acquired through the harvesting of people’s data can undermine the democratic right of nations to frame their own laws and raise their own taxes.

“The Battle of Zuckerberg is a battle to defend democracy against big tech bullying.”

 *Read in full on the Sydney Morning Herald's website here.