Feb 18, 2021

Facebook Australia row: How Facebook became so powerful in news

Overnight, Facebook banned Australian users from sharing or viewing news content on the platform - in response to a proposed law that would make tech giants pay for such content. According to a Reuters Institute report, up to 40% of Australians used Facebook for news between 2018 and 2020 - making it the country's most popular social media and messaging platform for news. News is one of the top reasons why people use social media, according to the Reuters report, and Facebook is the biggest social platform for it. "The algorithmic changes were made with no pre-warning, no insights and no reasoning [it] was incredibly frustrating," Isabelle Oderberg, a former social media editor for News Corp Australia, told BBC News. The three reporters all noted the shift in newsrooms when Facebook decided to prioritise video - making news videos more prominent to Facebook users in the feed.

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