Australian Media Retaliates As Facebook Terminates News Agreement

Sydney, Australia: The head of one of Australia’s largest media groups said on Monday that the country should stand up to tech giants, days after Facebook parent Meta announced it would no longer pay outlets for news.

News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller said Meta’s decision put hundreds of jobs at risk and would expose Australians to more scams and misinformation.

“Australia must not surrender its leadership in being a country that is prepared to stand up to tech giants,” he said in comments to one of the company’s newspapers.

“Meta believes it is above our government and above our laws. It has no care for communities.”

Meta said on Friday it would scrap the Facebook News tab in Australia and would not renew deals with news publishers worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The social media giant said its decision to pull the plug on the news deal was based on people not going to Facebook for news and political content.

Miller added that despite Meta’s claims it attempted to stamp out scams, they kept occurring.

“And it’s not just scams, it’s the misinformation, it’s the fake news, it’s the social impact that it’s having for all Australians… particularly young Australians who don’t yet have the maturity to understand that what they are seeing on Meta’s platforms is not always real,” he said.

“It’s not just doing damage to the media industry, it’s doing damage to our democracy.”

Meta had previously announced it would not renew content deals with news publishers in the United States, Britain, France and Germany.

The latest decision had been on the cards, but will come as a hammer blow for Australian news outlets already struggling to stay afloat.

A Meta spokesperson would not comment on Miller’s remarks, but said Friday’s decision would still allow users to share and view news content, while publishers could still use their pages to share content.

(This story has been published from a syndicated feed.)