Facebook has banned the sharing of Australian news content on its platform, including content created for Adventist Record, Signs of the Times and Mums at the Table.
The social media giant blocked content Thursday morning (February 18) in response to the Australian Government’s new Media Bargaining Bill, which proposes that big tech companies pay media companies for news content.
Groups such as Science & Technology Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology, the Australian Science Media Centre, the Australian Science Teachers Association, Professionals Australia, The Royal Institution of Australia, and Research Australia have also been blocked leading to health and safety concerns, especially with wild weather and bushfire alerts going out.
“Waking up to find Facebook had banned all of our content was a shock,” said Jarrod Stackelroth, editor of Adventist Record and Signs of the Times. “We have no way to know how long this might last or what ongoing impact it will have on our ability to share Adventist news around the South Pacific Division.”
The changes mean that any media pages’ posts are no longer appearing, and content is unable to be shared. Countries outside of Australia cannot access Adventist Media’s content either.
“We are blessed to have print magazines and websites that are still under our control and we’ll still be producing content in those places,” said Mr Stackelroth.
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“This week’s events have got me thinking about how as Christians, we use the platforms available to us,” Mr Stackelroth said. “This Facebook ban has been building for a while and Google may follow suit. We must be effective disciples in every area we can, sharing the good news of Jesus. There may come a day when private organisations like Facebook and Google, and even governments, ban Christian content or Christian individuals from public platforms because of the things we believe.”