Facebook, Australia Social media expert on Facebook's news blackout in Australia
It is part of a dispute over a proposed law that would force social media giants to pay for content, but it’s now facing allegations. The ban will allow misinformation to dominate the social media platform for a closer look we’re joined by ryan shelley at a pepperette uh. Mr shelley uh, some calling this uh facebook blackout unprecedented. Now, aside from the immediate consequences of blank pages where the news one stood uh. What are the other consequences for australian facebook users? Yeah? Look the biggest shock this morning was that um, you know unused related websites uh, they they’d lost their facebook page. So examples were, for example, south australian health. Their facebook page had been blocked, um other examples of completely unrelated businesses that in no way shape or form were ever news, publishers and their pages had been blocked. Some of these pages have been restored, however. Some of the smaller business pages, they’re still blocked and business owners are questioning. What to do. Mr shelley explain to us: if you will why google has taken a different approach and that’s, despite the fact that it also threatened to cancel services before yeah? Look, i i think in this instance, i’m, not sure what forced facebook’s hand, obviously the legislation before parliament’s um coming to a head. I think, in this instance google’s probably very happy to be not taking the lead and let in facebook uh. You know fire the first salvo see where it lands um and in this case yeah i think google’s very happy just to see what the um the the fallout may be and um and then make some wise decisions after that.
Well, you’ve got a government here and a big tag. Is there any room for compromise here between the australian government and facebook and what would that look like yeah? Look, i i, i hope so i’m i’m confident there will be some compromise. Obviously australians are um. You know we we, we understand that we’re, a small dot in the question of you, know, use of technology and things like that um, and we also understand that when it comes to legislation moving things like this um and even with testing of big tech, we’re we’re, A little bit of a a proving ground and a test bed so we’re fully aware that this um this could be a a test of legislation and of technology to see how our market reacts and that could affect how bigger markets in asia and um the us. Obviously react after that, so news organizations have woken up and, and you know, they’ve got blank pages. Their consumers are suffering amid all of this, mr shelley, is this also a signal to them that content is going to come at a price yeah? Look. I think it is the getting the balance right between journalists, content and obviously getting audiences to look at that content. It’S always been a challenge. I it’s it’s going to continue to be a challenge: i’m, not certain what the solution is going to be, but getting the balance right between social media platforms or search engines like facebook and google being the ones that lead traffic to news websites, um and also making Sure that the journalists who are on the ground, you know doing the hard work and getting the articles out there it’s getting that balance right between who’s who’s, benefiting more the news companies from getting the people to the websites or the end.
Consumers who are consuming the news via platform such as facebook and google, who arguably aren’t paying for that content, do you also see a knock on effect for businesses that use facebook yeah? Look. I think it is a a very good wake up call for all businesses. Uh, our advice has always been to diversify your sources of you, know, marketing and revenue, and how people are finding your business and coming to your website. I think any business who doesn’t stand up and take notice, and you know whether it’s diversifying the social media platforms they’re on whether it’s diversifying their their uh. You know leads of marketing via you know, search engine, optimization pay per click, um other social media platforms, email marketing, even traditional offline marketing.