Australian Publishers Accuse Facebook Of ‘Unfairly Taking’ Content

August 13th, 2021 5:59 PM

Three Australian publishers have accused Facebook of taking their content for its newly-launched news service without compensation.

Broadsheet Media, Urban List, and Concrete Playground publish entertainment news and reviews.

The publishers say Facebook took the content after it refused to negotiate licensing deals, according to Reuters.

The publishers also say Australia’s controversial new internet law has failed to protect them. The law requires publishers to register with the Australian media authority.

Facebook said the content was unsuitable for Facebook News and recommended they apply for grants.

"They told me that, 'oh well, you're not going to be included in News tab and that's what we're paying for'," Nick Shelton, founder of Broadsheet Media, told Reuters.

"To our surprise, we woke one morning last week and all of our content was there."

Facebook and Google are required to negotiate payment deals with publishers in Australia. A government-appointed arbitrator can get involved if a publisher proves that it has been “unfairly disqualified.” 

"If at the end of the day we don't get included in a commercial agreement, then absolutely they need a stick," Shelton added. "We are three prime examples of publishers and media businesses which should be included as part of this framework."

Conservatives are under attack. Contact Facebook headquarters at 1-650-308-7300 and demand that Big Tech be held to account to provide clarity on “hate speech,” rules that seem to be applied inconsistently. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.