Fed-up Aussies share their final words on Facebook before deleting their profiles for good – as #BoycottZuckerberg gains traction on Twitter in wake of the news ban
Daily Mail says the hashtags #DeleteFacebook and #BoycottZuckerberg are trending on Twitter as some Australians delete their profiles in protest at the platform completely banning news from the platform.
Outraged users are sharing their final Facebook posts and asking friends to send their phone numbers before they delete the platform for good.
Facebook has banned Australian news outlets from sharing content, and has also inadvertently blocked charities, government agencies and smaller businesses.
Former Deputy Mayor of Maribyrnong, Victoria, Megan Bridger-Darling, deleted her Facebook account on Thursday and told followers they could find her on ‘Twitter, email, phone, and occasionally in the news.’
‘If Facebook won’t support our journalists, I won’t support them,’ wrote Ms Bridger-Darling.
I choose reliable news sources over a platform that benefits and enables anti-vaxxers, klan members, doxxers, fear-mongers, and extremists to peddle their messages entirely unopposed.
Western Australia entrepreneur Jared Fitzclarence announced he would no longer be paying Facebook for advertising until news content was fully restored on the platform.
‘I am making a commitment to immediately cease all paid advertising on any Facebook platform and to refrain from clicking on any paid advertisements,’ he wrote.
‘To all Australian entrepreneurs, I challenge you to do the same for your advertising budgets.’
Facebook is Australia’s most popular social media platform, being used by over 17.1million Aussies in a four week period in 2019, according to research by Roy Morgan.
Scott Morrison slammed the tech giant’s decision to block Australian news on Thursday.
‘Facebook’s actions to unfriend Australia today, cutting off essential information services on health and emergency services, were as arrogant as they were disappointing,’ Mr Morrison wrote.
‘We will not be intimidated by BigTech seeking to pressure our Parliament as it votes on our important News Media Bargaining Code.’
Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young, who ferociously grilled Facebook and Google representatives in a senate inquiry last month, slammed the move.
‘Blocking Australian news overnight, while allowing hate speech and dangerous conspiracy theories run rampant,’ she said.
‘Facebook has just confirmed it really is just FakeBook.’
Facebook said it made the choice to ban pages, including those providing mental health, domestic violence and emergency services support, ‘with a heavy heart.’
‘The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content,’ the tech company wrote in a blog post.
‘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.’
It’s a break-up but netizens see irony
‘It’s a break-up’, users say as #DeleteFacebook trends on Twitter, but netizens see irony
The Economic Times says Australia woke up to a blank feed on Thursday after the social media giant Facebook blocked users and media companies from sharing links to news articles on its platform. This also meant that Australians were unable to view the Facebook pages of news organisations from across the world.
Since then, the social networking site has been at the receiving end, with many breaking up with the platform for good.
Facebook and Google have been locked in a battle with media companies and the Australian government after the latter drafted a bill that would require the two tech giants to negotiate with news publication companies and pay them for using their content.
In August, Facebook made it clear that it would block users and media outlets in Australia from sharing news links on its platform including Instagram if the bill were to pass. The row only progressed from hereon
Though Google, who had threatened to block Australia from using its search engine, signed a deal with News Corp. and will now be paying Rupert Murdoch’s company for its news content in Australia, UK and US, Facebook did not budge. Instead, the social networking platform pushed the block button on Australian users and news organisations.
This was enough to start a riot on Twitter with thousands of people supporting the complete boycott of Facebook.
Remember to #DeleteFacebook like you should have done years ago when your information was leaked, or that time a year later when your information was leaked, or perhaps that more recent time when your information was leaked. Also when it READ YOUR TEXT MESSAGES WITHOUT PERMISSION
The trend has set off a serious conversation on the microblogging site as people from different parts of the world joined in. “If you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product,” another user wrote along with the hashtag ‘Delete Facebook’.
However, there are also those who can’t help but see the irony in the situation. “People saying #DeleteFacebook and acting like Twitter is any better I can’t stand y’all,” one user pointed out.
The social networking giant also owns instant messaging app WhatsApp and photo-sharing platform Instagram. Now if people are to boycott Facebook for good, then what happens to WhatsApp and Instagram? That’s a question to reflect on.
Facebook overplaying its hand
Feel like breaking up with Facebook? Maybe it’s time for a social media spring clean
The Conversation says in denying news content to its Australian users, Facebook is arguably overplaying its hand, behaving as a big company that thinks it can intimidate governments
If it keeps doing this, it will ultimately lose customers, and that’s the last thing Facebook wants.
Perhaps you’re already considering breaking up with Facebook, whether in reaction to the news ban, or out of a broader unease about its business model, which profiles its users with the goal of earning revenue from targeted advertising.
If so, the good news is it’s definitely possible to delete Facebook. Or, if you’re not ready to go the whole hog, you can certainly minimise your footprint on the platform.
If you deactivate your account it goes dormant but all the data are still there. This is a good option if you want to just take a break.
Selecting “delete” from the same menu is a stronger option. If you do this, Facebook says it will delete your account, but it’s a little bit unclear about what happens to the data. This means we can’t say definitively that all data gets deleted, never to be seen again.
In the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) includes giving users the “right to be forgotten” from the internet, so no one can dig up awkward information about what you did 20 years ago. This extends to EU citizens living in Australia.
Australia’s Privacy Act guarantees a person’s right to request their records and to request corrections to inaccurate records. It also guarantees protection against unwarranted invasion of their privacy resulting from the collection, maintenance, use and disclosure of their personal information.
There is a third way: a “social media spring clean”, which goes a step further than the standard “cull” of Facebook friends. It involves rebooting your entire Facebook presence by replacing your existing account with a new one that connects only with your most trusted friends.
The whole purpose of Facebook — in Facebook’s view, at least — is to collect enough demographic data about users so they can use clever AI to target advertising. It’s awesome how good they’re getting at that, and the more data they get, the better they get.
Their whole modus operandi is to keep you on the platform for as long as possible so they have more chances to show you advertising. That’s the whole reason they want you there.
By just hanging onto your closest friends, and starting with a clean slate, it’s possible to slim this enterprise down.
Life after Facebook?
There’s no shortage of other platforms that people can use. Popular alternatives include LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit, Parler and MeWe. Bear in mind that Facebook also owns WhatsApp and Instagram. There has been talk recently about data being shared across all Facebook-owned platforms.
Over time, Facebook accounts accumulate more and more dross, and it’s all data for the platform’s algorithms. Facebook wants you to build up hundreds and hundreds of friends, and it’s all grist to their mill.
It’s good to do a periodic spring clean of all your social media accounts – not just Facebook. If you want to take it to the next level, deactivate your Facebook account and take a break. Or simply take the entire account — and the probably gigabytes of data Facebook has accumulated on you — and cast it into oblivion.
Facebook's botched ban
Facebook’s botched Australia news ban hits health departments, charities and its own pages
The Guardian says The Bureau of Meteorology, state health departments, the Western Australian opposition leader, charities and Facebook itself are among those to have been hit by Facebook’s ban on news in Australia.
While the ban was only meant to target Australian news publishers, dozens of pages run by key government agencies, community pages, union pages, charity organisations and politicians were also blocked for several hours.
Australia’s main source of weather information, the Bureau of Meteorology, said on Thursday morning that it had been blocked, and was advising users to go to its direct website, app or Twitter page.
As Australia prepares to begin the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines, state health departments, including SA Health and Queensland Health, were unable to post.
St Vincent’s Health in Melbourne said it was “extremely concerning” its Facebook page had been blocked “during a pandemic and on the eve of crucial Covid vaccine distribution”.
Health minister Greg Hunt said he was “profoundly shocked” that health organisations, including Bowel Cancer Australia and the Kids Cancer Project had been affected.
The fact that the kids cancer project could be affected, is, frankly a disgrace. Facebook should fix it and they should address that immediately – Hunt told reporters.
The shadow health minister, Mark Butler, said it was “completely irresponsible” behaviour by Facebook, and the pages needed to be restored.
“We’re in the middle of a pandemic,” he tweeted. “Australians need to hear from credible voices in the vaccine rollout. This is completely irresponsible from Facebook. The Morrison government needs to fix this today.”
The Western Australian Department of Fire and Emergency Services’s page was also stripped of content.
By midday on Thursday, some pages had been restored including those run by BoM and the state health departments.
1800 Respect, Mission Australia, Hobart Women’s Shelter, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, Australian Wildlife Conservancy and a number of other charities were also blocked on Thursday.
Labor’s shadow assistant minister for communities and the prevention of family violence, Jenny McAllister, said the government “needs to explain why this has happened on their watch and what they are doing to get essential domestic violence services back up and running on Facebook.”
A Facebook spokeswoman said the blocks on non-news organisations had been a mistake.
The Facebook chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, spoke with the treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, on Thursday morning in the wake of the wide-ranging ban of content from Facebook. Frydenberg described the discussion as “constructive”.
Go Deeper into the story
Facebook has ‘attacked a sovereign nation’ and ‘shown tech giants think they’re bigger than governments’: Australian Prime Minister’s fury after Zuckerberg BLOCKS all news and even Covid public information in row over paying for content – Daily Mail
Facebook ban on news in Australia provokes fierce backlash – FT News
‘Time to reactivate MySpace’: the day Australia woke up to a Facebook news blackout – The Guardian
Facebook’s Australian news ban is a fight the whole world should watch – New Scientist
Facebook took down all of Australia’s news content – and all my work went with it – abcnews
Facebook ban opens door to ‘falsehoods and fictions’ ahead of vaccine rollout – The Sydney Morning Herald
Facebook news ban ‘backfired dramatically’ say Curtin Uni, Monash experts – news.com
Australia Facebook news ban
A dispute over a planned law that would force tech giants Facebook and Google to pay for news content in Australia is being keenly watched worldwide.
The world-first law aims to address the media’s loss of advertising revenue to US tech firms.
If passed, the law could have global consequences for tech firms and how we access news online.
But the tech firms have pushed back, with Facebook restricting news content in Australia. – BBC News
Why did Facebook ban Australian news?
There have long been concerns about the market dominance of tech firms over media organisations.
Google is the dominant search engine in Australia and has been described by the government as a near-essential utility, with little market competition.
And social media is a key source of news.
In 2018, an Australian government regulator launched an inquiry into the impact of Google and Facebook on competition in media and advertising.
The inquiry by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) found an imbalance of power between tech firms and the media.
Given this, the regulator recommended introducing a code of conduct that it said would level the playing field.
In July last year, the Australian government unveiled a draft law to enforce the code, provoking threats from Facebook and Google to withdraw services in the country – BBC News
What sites are banned in Australia?
The sites barred include The Pirate Bay, Torrentz, TorrentHound, IsoHunt and SolarMovie.
Internet censorship in Australia is enforced by both the country’s criminal law as well as voluntarily enacted by internet service providers