Just recently, a news involving Facebook and the Australian government had been circulating around and is still the talk of the town up to this writing. This is regarding the media ban on Facebook for all Australian citizens including news outlets that have Facebook pages.
When this news was first announced last week, almost everyone, not just Australians was shocked and gave out different opinions about it. Some were saying that they're proud for what the Australian government has done and I quote (Joshua Axford via Facebook): "Very proud to see our Government take yet another stance for our long term benefit, reminds me of the saying “evil prevails when good people do nothing” So now all Trusted News has been removed from FB then any news remaining must be fake! Right?"
In addition to that, Sara Hood also stated via Facebook and I quote: "I'm on the side of the govt on this one. I've seen the damage caused to authors and to musicians with the tech business models. Someone has to say 'stop'.... the music industry tried but ended up with the appalling situation with Spotify where artists get a fraction of a cent per play. Even heritage artists are seeing their income stream decimated. And mid list authors are in dire straits due to Kindle et al. Again, their regular income stream is a fraction of what it was. On the one hand anyone can now publish their magnum opus. On the other hand, it's very hard to make money from it now."
Those are just some of the pro Australian government opinions from Aussies that I've gathered through Facebook. There are heaps of other opinions but be very careful in searching for these topics as you might also get reprimanded for doing so. One person said on Facebook that a funeral/crematorium owner's website (he has two websites) was turned down because it has news option on it - absolutely devastating!!
To help you get around with this, we researched on 10 ways to help you understand Australia's proposed Media Bargaining Law and what you should and shouldn't do especially on Facebook to not get your account restricted.
First of all, what is this media bargaining law in Australia?
In the new proposed media bargaining law, it states that Facebook is required to pay publishers if "news content" will be posted on its website. Facebook has showed disagreement to this bargaining law, and is now restricting ALL news outlets in Australia from posting and sharing news on Facebook. To add fuel to the fire, regular Australians are also prohibited from sharing or viewing news via Facebook.
Here are important updates for Australian publishers, international publishers, Australian community, and international community:
For Australian publishers:
- They are restricted from sharing or posting any content on Facebook Pages
- Admins can still access other features from their Facebook Page, including the insights and the Creator Studio
- Facebook will still continue to provide them access to all other standard Facebook services, including data tools and CrowdTangle
For international publishers:
- They can still continue to publish news content on Facebook, but links and posts can't be viewed or shared by Australian audiences
For Australian community:
- They cannot view or share any Australian or international news content on Facebook or content from Australian and international news Pages
For international community:
- They cannot view or share any Australian news content on Facebook or content from Australian news Pages
At the moment, Facebook Pages of all media giants in Australia don't have cover photos anymore, and their posts were removed completely (see photos below). According to Facebook Australia & New Zealand's Managing Director, William Easton, "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."
Alternatively, I compiled 10 suggestions from other people on how to still get access to news links or share news articles/blogs to your audience. These are:
- When posting a link to a new story on your blog, make sure to post in the comments not as a post.
- Use email marketing.
- Use FB Purity.
- Go to LinkedIn or Twitter to post news.
- Share links through sites like Outline - which presents articles in a reader-friendly view. Just visit outline.com in any web browser, paste the link you want to share, and hit "create outline." You can then copy the URL in your browser's address bar, or scroll to the bottom of the article and hit the green copy button for a link that you can post to Facebook. Best of all, Facebook will preserve the article's headline and image preview, similar to sharing the article proper.
- Post or do a live stream on your YouTube channel instead.
- For newsfeed needs: Push out more content via Twitter and use Flipboard - it's a site that curates a feed of news stories for you.
- For community engagement: Use Nuzzel - it connects to your social accounts (like Twitter and LinkedIn) to analyse your activities and then suggest what you might like to read, what your friends are reading and discussing across the web based on your activities. Use another social networking app that will curate an online neighbourhood of users who live near you or within your community - Nextdoor. It offers a forum for people to share local news, give advices to each other, and whatnot.
- Use the format: nameobusiness(dot)com - so that it's more of an address than a link.
- Join forums on Reddit to get access to news or topics within your field of interest.
UPDATE! Click here to read the ABC
news article on how it all happened, and how it all stopped! Thank goodness that Facebook media ban in Australia was short lived!