Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has asked to meet Facebook after the social media giant reportedly banned news on its platform in Australia.
Facebook began removing news content from its platform in Australia on Thursday over legislative proposals that it claims “fundamentally misunderstand the relationship between our platform and the publishers.”
The ban not only affects Austrians’ access to home news, but has also affected their access to international news and their exposure to potentially misleading news content.
The country’s new code would create an arbitration tribunal to set a mandatory price for news in situations where Google and Facebook fail to do business with media companies whose original journalism they link to.
According to The times and The daily telegraph, The Secretary of Culture will be in discussions with Facebook later that week about what Mr Dowden has called a “worrying development” The times.
Rep. Julian Knight, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee said: “Facebook’s actions in Australia should be big in the UK at a time when our own government is legislating on social media Importance his company.
“Facebook has shown its absolute disregard for the public interest and is all too ready to use its power to advance its own agenda.”
Mr Knight added that the committee was “deeply concerned” about tackling the “scourge of misinformation” and feared that trusted news sources should be encouraged to do so.
There were other concerns about whether or not UK Facebook users might face similar bans if tech company-publishers’ relationships turn sour.
Speaking to the PA news agency, social media advisor Matt Navarra said Britain was “not facing any immediate threat” from a similar situation. However, he suggested that this could change in the future if Australia and other countries set an example.
Additional reporting by agencies