Facebook blocks news access in Australia in retaliation over new Australian media law

The Australian Prime Minister called Facebook's actions "arrogant" and "wrong."

Updated: February 18, 2021 - 6:22pm

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Facebook blocked Australians on Thursday from sharing and accessing news stories from the platform.

The move from the social media giant comes after the Australian House of Representatives passed legislation that would make Facebook and Google pay news organizations for each click made on their site.

According to the Australian Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, he had no warning of the move by Facebook, as reported by the Associated Press.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison took to Facebook after hearing the news, saying, "Facebook's actions to unfriend Australia today, cutting off essential information services on health and emergency services were as arrogant as they were disappointing."

At the end of his statement, Morrison said he hoped Facebook and Australia could work together constructively.

The law in question that started the split between the social media giant and the land down under has not yet become law. While it passed in the Australian House of Representatives, it still must be passed by the Senate.