Facebook’s news ban blocks pages for fire services, charities, and other important services

Update: Feb 23, 2021: Facebook has begun to restore news sharing in Australia after reaching an agreement with the government. You can read comments made by News Media Canada president and CEO here.

American tech giant Facebook blocked people from sharing news in Australia earlier this week, in an apparent effort to push back against proposed legislation that would see tech giants pay news organizations for their content.

While some of the pages have since been reinstated, the actions by Facebook had far-reaching impacts. Several charities, as well as health organizations saw their pages blocked or stripped of their content.

In a published statement, Facebook said: “The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content. It has left us facing a stark choice: attempt to comply with a law that ignores the realities of this relationship, or stop allowing news content on our services in Australia. With a heavy heart, we are choosing the latter.”

In the wake of these developments, The Toronto Star published a story that raises the question: Could Canada be next? 

You can read more about the fallout from these actions here and here.