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Here’s what Australian residents see when they visit Facebook news pages

Facebook’s sweeping changes are impacting more than just news pages, as well.

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Image: KnowTechie

UPDATE 2/23/2021 7:11 AM ET:After Facebook made the drastic decision to basically ban all news on its platform in Australia, the social giant and Australian government have come to new terms. News is back in Australia. The original story follows below.

In case you missed it, Facebook made the landmark decision yesterday to block all news posts in Australia after the Australian government passed regulations that would require Facebook to pay media organizations for content published on the social site.

This went into effect almost immediately and while Facebook has accomplished what it set out to do, it also missed the mark in quite a few places, blocking human rights groups, government pages, and even itself.

Now, when Australian Facebook users visit the site, no websites that have been classified as “news” will have links on the News Feed, and going to the media outlet’s page shows just how barren those pages are without news links.

Here’s what a news page looks like on Facebook in Australia right now

Image: AP Photo / Rick Rycroft

As you can see above, Facebook has removed this news outlet’s posts, most likely because there were links in them to Channel 9’s website. There is still organization information on the page, but that’s it.

With the mass bans, many Facebook pages were improperly banned. This includes human rights groups, Australian government pages, and more.

The only silver lining here is that Facebook even managed to block its own content in the sweeping changes.

A Facebook spokesperson tells The Guardian that some of these blocks were a mistake (obviously). They go on to state:

The actions we’re taking are focused on restricting publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content. As the law does not provide clear guidance on the definition of news content, we have taken a broad definition in order to respect the law as drafted. However, we will reverse any pages that are inadvertently impacted.”

It should be noted that these bans are only in place for those in Australia. The content still technically exists, as people outside of Australia can still see the posts and it has also been reported that people not logged in to Facebook can view it, as well.

This is almost certainly not the end of this story, so we’ll continue to follow this closely and update you with any new information.

UPDATE 2/25/2021 10:14 AM ET:Facebook and Google will now be required to pay publishers in Australia for news content. Full story here.

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