Facebook accidentally blocks own page during Australian news takedown

Facebook accidentally blocks own page during Australian news takedown

Facebook social media app

James Martin / CNET

Facebook’s sudden decision to ban people from reading and sharing news on Thursday in Australia drew an ironic result for the social media giant.

According to several reports, Facebook mistakenly banned its Facebook page in Australia on Thursday, before reinstating it later in the day. An Australian journalist posted a screenshot on Twitter, showing the Facebook page in limited condition, with a missing cover photo and a barren timeline with only the words “No posts yet”. Facebook did not respond to a CNET request for confirmation.

Read more: Facebook caught the news in Australia. Here’s why it matters everywhere.

But this was not the only unintentional consequence that arose from Facebook’s widespread news restrictions. The social media giant inadvertently blocked several Australian government pages, including two government health agencies, in the midst of a coronovirus epidemic, leading to increased access to this health information. Some publications are vacant not only in Australia, but worldwide.


Facebook page restored in Australia.

Screenshot by Nicole Archer / CNET

Facebook started banning people in Australia from watching and sharing news Thursday in response to the government’s proposed legislation. Known as the News Media Bargaining Code, it requires large tech companies such as Facebook and Google to pay news publishers for their content to which companies link on their respective platforms.

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