Shock casualties of the widespread Facebook news block
Facebook's news ban has impacted news sites as well as non-news pages, including the Bureau of Meteorology and other Australian government pages.
News.com.au has confirmed that Facebook is using technology to enforce the ban, but is unable to explain why other pages have been caught in the ban.
Australians who are looking for reliable information about the weather from the Bureau of Meteorology won't be able to do so as all of its posts have been scrubbed from Facebook.
The Queensland Health Facebook page has also been wiped clean, so Queenslanders looking for information from their local health authorities will be impacted.
So Facebook has even removed the @BOM_au verified blue tick page's content as well.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
The Australian Government Bureau that looks at the weather.
— Trish (@Tr1shM) February 17, 2021
Other government Facebook pages hit by the ban include the ACT Government Facebook page, the South Australian Health Facebook page and Harvey Norman, the electronics retailer.
The move has shocked many, but Communications Minister Paul Fletcher is unphased.
I get all my Australian news from Harvey Norman.... 😳 pic.twitter.com/qSUEZ473mf
— Trudy McIntosh (@TrudyMcIntosh) February 17, 2021
“Facebook needs to think very carefully about what this means for its reputation and standing,” Mr Fletcher told the ABC.
“They’re effectively saying, on our platform, there will not be any information from organisations which employ paid journalists, which have fact-checking processes, editorial policies. They’re effectively saying any information that is available on our site does not come from these reliable sources.”
Currently, there is nothing stopping Australians from reading information from their favourite news sites directly, but they will be unable to see the posts on their Facebook feed.
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