Vanessa de Largie | The Spectator Australia | February 18, 2021
In response to the proposed media bargaining laws, Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook have banned Australian publishers from sharing and viewing news content. If you’re into cat videos, conspiracy theory memes and snapshots of your mate’s lunch, then the new Facebook will be right up your alley
Australian Facebook users woke to a very different social media experience this morning with pages of their favourite Aussie news outlets showing the message, “no posts yet”. Australians are also banned from seeing international news content on the pages of the BBC, The New York Times and others. In a sign of the crude intimidation of the powerplay, Facebook’s ban has also had a disastrous impact on marginalised groups and health emergency services — but what impact will these restrictions have on the Australian arts community?
I earn a crust through writing and was horrified to login to my Facebook account and discover that all my columns for The Huff Post, Maxim, The Daily Telegraph, the SpecOz and more had been removed.
The main reason I have a Facebook account is to share my published work. Media outlets purchase columns off freelance writers like me to get clicks. Clicks equate to more readers which essentially means they can charge more for advertising. My Facebook drives traffic their way and makes me more attractive as a contributor.
Being an actor, writer and author in Australia is hard enough, especially during a pandemic. I had to turn to tedious content writing to pay my bills in 2020. Sites like Facebook allow emerging Australian talent to have a platform and grow their audience. Being unable to share our work could quite possibly cost us a wage and freelancing gigs.
But not to worry. I doubt Fuckerberg could give a flying zuck about that!