Hopefully you are allowed to read this before it gets banned. This week, the rich and powerful have really shown the power and control they hold over the content we consume and what we are “allowed” to know. Overnight, Facebook completely wiped any pages that share Australian and international news in our country, and have blocked the ability to even post links to news stories on their platform. My own Sincerely, E page was included in this banned list, along with almost every page that shared anything remotely factual – hello incoming overload of fake news.
However, we know this wasn’t an unprovoked decision by Facebook, when our government announced weeks ago they would make social media platforms pay for our media and news outlets’ stories. Which, in hindsight, is a fair call. Companies like Facebook have been profiting off news publishers posting their articles for free since the dawn of social networking. It was about time they helped support our journalists, right? Well, didn’t that backfire. Facebook didn’t need to start paying, they have enough money as is, so they banned everyone instead. In a time where instant news is an important part of living during a pandemic, that luxury has been completely taken from us. Does this mean we sign up for newspapers being delivered to our doors each morning, or have we been left in the dreaded state of getting our news from TikTok?
Bill Shorten MP took to Twitter saying we ought to all relocate our social media presence back to Myspace, when someone replied with, “Ah Myspace, arguably the Bill Shorten of social networks”. While I, a 22-year-old who has always been fascinated with news and politics, found this hilarious – maybe Bill has a point. Has Facebook just shot themselves in the foot by sending everyone off their platform to somewhere that will actually give us news? There are only so many cat videos and memes we can take, Zuckerberg. The big blue social platform may have just made themselves the most irrelevant networking site in the world, but I suppose time will tell.
While real news is going to become harder to find, our Facebook feeds will soon be filled with an onslaught of misinformation and fake news. And sometimes, it’s hard to know what’s real and what isn’t when some people make things sound so believable. So I ask you, please, be sure to either subscribe to your local news outlets or follow them on other platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. Although my dream of being a news writer didn’t pan out for me, there are journalists now who’s stories are banned from being shared on Facebook, and for what? So Facebook can save their billions of dollars and not pay for quality Australian journalism?
By letting fake news roam our feeds, the true storytellers of our nation have been left behind in the dust.
Until next time,