Former CEO of Facebook Australia and New Zealand Stephen Scheeler says Facebook’s ban on Australian news is a “case of overreach” and an attempt to stall regulation of the platform.
His comments come after the social media platform imposed a ban on Australian news content amid growing contentions regarding the federal government’s media bargaining code which aims to force tech giants to pay media outlets for using their news content.
“Australia is setting an example by this legislation and saying we’re going to set up some rules here that we feel are right for our country but Facebook said ‘no we don’t agree and therefore we’re going to bring out the big stick’,” Mr Scheeler told Sky News host Andrew Bolt.
Mr Scheeler said Facebook’s action were “completely reprehensible” and the company should be aware of its “social responsibility” because it is such a large part of the economy.
“They are so critical to the health of the Australian economy and information ecosystem and they have an extra responsibility and that responsibility should include not casually, accidentally supposedly, turning off COVID information.”