International News Feb 18, 2021 4:08 PM EST

Australian PM rips Facebook over new media censorship rules—could Canada be next?

The leader of Australia's centre-right Liberal Party of Australia (LP) described the tech giant's move to remove news and media companies from the platform as "arrogant and disappointing."

Australian PM rips Facebook over new media censorship rules—could Canada be next?
Joe Vaughan The Post Millennial
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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said his government will not be intimidated by Facebook blocking news feeds to users, BBC reports.

The leader of Australia's centre-right Liberal Party of Australia (LP) described the tech giant's move to remove news and media companies from the platform as "arrogant and disappointing."

As of Thursday morning, the Facebook pages of all local and global news sites have been listed as unavailable.

Those outside of the country are also barred from accessing Australian news companies' pages.

The hasty decision from Facebook was made in response to a proposed new Media Bargaining law. The Australian federal government drafted a plan to force social media giants to pay for news content.

"Facebook was wrong. Facebook's actions were unnecessary. They were heavy handed and they will damage its reputation here in Australia," Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told media on Thursday.

Across the Pacific, Canadians could be facing the same fate. Liberal Heritage Minister Stephen Guilbeault is planning on moving forward with legislation that will force tech giants such as Google and Facebook to pay for news that appears on their site.

The legislation is part of a push to limit the power of big tech companies while forcing them to financially support the struggling news media industry.

The Liberals are additionally proposing a variety of new regulations to deal with online content, such as new regulations on "hate speech" which some have suggested may be similar to Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which was repealed in 2014 by the Harper government. Section 13 was widely criticized for placing hate speech rules in the hands of small groups such as the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

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