Sydney: The Australian health department has announced that it will not place ads on Facebook, the latest escalation of the government's dispute with the social media giant that continues to block news content from its platform.
Facebook is playing hardball over government’s plan to force technology giants to pay for the news on their platforms.
The freeze follows Facebook’s decision to block all Australian news content on its platform and as Australia steps up its COVID-19 vaccination roll out with a nearly $20m public information blitz aimed at boosting uptake and countering a flood of anti-vaccine conspiracy theories.
The Australian government has been involved in a fierce clash with Facebook over the law that would force digital platforms to compensate media outlets for online content.
Under the law, the Australian government would have the right to appoint an arbitrator to set content licensing fees in the event that private negotiations failed.
Hence, Facebook strongly opposed the proposed legislation, in retaliation it blocked virtually all Australian news on its platform.
The legislation is expected to be finalized in congress this week and Facebook is believed to still be in talks with Australian media companies and the government to find a solution.
Earlier, Google and Facebook have campaigned against the laws. Hence, Google signed deals with top Australian outlets last week, including Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
While Australians remained unable to share news articles or browse media groups' Facebook pages, the country began its vaccination drive on Sunday.
News Corp dominates the media in Australia and the United Kingdom.