Australia's government says that Facebook was "heavy-handed" and "wrong" for introducing an unprecedented local ban on sharing news in response to pending legislation that would force the social media giant to pay for content. From Thursday Australians were unable to post links to news articles or view the Facebook pages of local and international news outlets, while Aussie news sources disappeared from the site worldwide.
JOSH FRYDENBERG: Facebook was wrong. Facebook's actions were unnecessary. They were heavy-handed, and they will damage its reputation here in Australia.
JOSH FRYDENBERG: Their decision to block Australians access to government sites, be they about support through the pandemic, mental health, emergency services, the Bureau of Meteorology, were completely unrelated to the media code which is yet to pass through the Senate.
MARK ZUCKERBERG: And all of Facebook's experience delivering software and of course [INAUDIBLE]. So it's an honor to be here today. You know--
CARSTEN RUDOLPH: The story is a bit more complicated than just saying digital platforms kind of steal the content from news outlets and they benefit from it. It's kind of a mutual benefit. So then you probably would also need to ask whether news outlets would need to pay Facebook and Google for traffic that is brought to them to their pages, so that's, it's kind of a, both sides benefit from that, and I don't think that's really reflected in the legislation.