Meta Considers Facebook News Ban In Australia

facebook meta Image credit Unsplash

Meta says it may ban news content from Facebook in Australia if forced to pay licensing fees under 2021 law

Facebook parent Meta Platforms said it is considering banning news from the social media service if it is forced to pay licensing fees.

When asked at a parliamentary hearing if the firm would block Australians from sharing news content to avoid paying fees, regional policy director Mia Garlick said that “all options are on the table”.

“There’s a large number of channels that people can get news content from,” she said.

She said Meta is waiting for the Australian government to decide whether it will apply a 2021 law that allows the government to set fees large tech companies pay media outlets for sharing links.

Image credit: Meta facebook
Image credit: Meta

Licensing law

“Every other law – tax laws, safety laws, privacy laws – we work to comply with,” Garlick said. “It’s just compliance would look slightly different in relation to this law if it’s fully enacted.

“To comply with the law, yes, we need to stop the sharing of mainstream media news,” she said.

When the law was passed Meta initially formed licensing deals with News Corp and other news outlets, but said it would not renew those deals beyond 2024.

Garlick’s remarks are an indication that Meta could impose a news ban in Australia as it has done in Canada, rather than pay licensing fees.

In Canada Meta instituted the ban in August 2023 and it is still in effect, blocking users from sharing news links.


As a result traffic to smaller news outlets is reportedly down substantially as users have resorted to sharing screenshots of news sites instead of links.

Last August users said they were unable to share news about wildfires with their contacts over Facebook due to the ban.

News publishers say large tech companies such as Meta and Google have taken advertising funds from them while profiting from their content, a situation such laws are intended to redress.

Google formed licensing deals in Canada and Australia and has said it plans to renew its Australian licensing arrangements when they expire.

Australia’s largest free-to-air television broadcasters, Nine Entertainment and Seven West Media, said last week they would cut jobs as a result of lost income from the expiring Meta licensing deals.