Facebook Australia row

How Facebook became so powerful in news

On Thursday, millions of Australians woke up to find a drastically different version of Facebook – one devoid of any news.Overnight, Facebook banned Australian users from sharing or viewing news content on the platform – in response to a proposed law that would make tech giants pay for such content.

Facebook has, in just a matter of years, established itself as the place where many get their news. And the platform’s outsized influence on how some newsrooms make editorial and hiring decisions has led to it being described as “the absent editor in the room”.

There’s no doubt that Facebook has become one of the most – if not the most – important social network for many news consumers. According to a Reuters Institute report, up to 40% of Australians used Facebook for news between 2018 and 2020 – making it the country’s most popular social media and messaging platform for news. But there has been much concern about the dominance of these tech firms in the media landscape.



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