Facebook users in Australia could lose their ability to share news on the social network, the company is warning. The threat is the result of a proposed law from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that would require Facebook and other tech companies to pay publishers for their content. Facebook has maintained that news content “is not a significant source of revenue” and that such a law “ignores the financial value we bring publishers.”
Now, Facebook is making clear what it previously has only hinted at: if the ACCC’s proposal becomes law, it will “reluctantly” shut off the ability for publishers or users to share news in the country. The ban would affect news from local Australian organizations as well as international media, and would impact both Facebook and Instagram.
In a statement, the company said it has offered up alternatives, such as bringing Facebook News to Australia, but that the proposals “were overlooked.” “We are left with a choice of either removing news entirely or accepting a system that lets publishers charge us for as much content as they want at a price with no clear limits,” the company writes in a blog post. “Unfortunately, no business can operate that way.”
Facebook isn’t the only major tech company to take issue with the proposed law. Google has also been fighting the move. The search giant has previously shut off features in European countries that tried to force it to pay publishers.