Facebook’s Decision is Inconsistent with Press Freedom

The Alliance for Journalists Freedom regrets Facebook’s decision to remove Australian news content from its platform.

The decision leaves people in Australia, ­­­­­­­­and also those trying to share Australian-made news around the world, with no access to trusted media publishers via Facebook’s main platform.

At this stage, however, we understand that Instagram will not remove Australian news content from that platform.

The work of journalists and press freedom requires sustainable, diverse and profitable platforms for journalism to flourish. That work is essential to democracy. Stopping Australian news content from being shared on Facebook’s platform effectively restricts the public’s access to trusted public interest journalism.

This at a time when misinformation and disinformation is increasing.

It is inconsistent with supporting press freedom in a leading democracy like Australia. It also sets an unfortunate international example at a time in which certain digital platforms increasingly agree to censor or shape their content at the direction of undemocratic governments.

While we appreciate Facebook’s concerns about the code, the AJF welcomes news that Google and certain media organisations have found a commercial basis upon which to continue their relationship.

Facebook has publicly committed itself to supporting and upholding press freedom.  AJF is grateful for its support in that regard. We know firsthand that these are important values for Facebook.

On that basis, AJF encourages Facebook to allow Australian news content to be shared on its platform as it re-engages with the Australian Government on the Media Bargaining Code, and media organisations on content delivery.

 

Media:
Olivia Pirie-Griffiths, Executive Director
0400716181 [email protected]