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Meta won’t pay for Australian news. Here’s what that means for us.

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Separately, Meta also announced last month it’s taking steps to limit the reach of “political” content on its platforms.
meta australian news

Meta announced last week it will not renew its deals with large traditional Australian news media companies. The company owns Facebook, Instagram, Threads, and WhatsApp.

Separately, Meta also announced last month it’s taking steps to limit the reach of “political” content on its platforms.

Australian news publishers now fear a breakdown in Government could lead to news being blocked on Meta platforms. This has already happened in Canada.

Meta’s Australian news agreements

Last week, Meta announced it would shut down Facebook News and would not enter into new commercial deals with publishers.

Several Australian news outlets signed these deals following the introduction of the News Media Bargaining Code in 2021. The Daily Aus did not sign one of these deals.

This law requires tech giants to pay to host news on their platforms.

In response to this law, and the negotiations that arose from it, Meta removed news from Facebook for a brief period of time in February 2021.

Eventually, both Meta and Google signed deals with publishers. This is what Meta has now announced it will not renew.

According to Meta, this decision was made to “better align our investments to our products and services people value the most”.

“We know that people don’t come to Facebook for news and political content — they come to connect with people and discover new opportunities, passions and interests,” the statement said.

Meta said: “The changes affecting the Facebook News feature will not otherwise impact Meta’s products and services [in Australia]. People will still be able to view links to news articles on Facebook”.

What does this mean?

Publishers who had deals with Meta (News Corp, Nine, Seven, Ten etc) will lose millions of dollars in funding.

Many smaller news outlets (like The Daily Aus!) were never included in those deals, so the decision won’t directly impact all news companies in Australia.

The Federal Government has expressed concern over the decision and has said it will look at what options are available, including possible fines to Meta.

If the Federal Government decides to take action against Meta, it could push Meta to remove news content from its platforms. It has already done this in Canada.

Political content

Last month, Meta also said it “didn’t want to proactively amplify political content from accounts you don’t follow” on Instagram and Threads.

This means that you can still view political content from accounts you follow, but it won’t recommend this content to new accounts or from accounts you don’t follow.

Meta defines political content as “potentially related to things like laws, elections, or social topics”.

According to Instagram head Adam Mosseri, Meta’s ‘goal’ is to ”preserve the ability for people to choose to interact with political content, while respecting each person’s appetite for it.”

What it means for TDA

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