‘Bullied’ By Facebook, Aussie PM Morrison Seeks PM Modi’s Support

Facebook’s action has sparked a major outrage in Australian political circles.

2 min read
A file photo of PM Modi and Australia PM Scott Morrison.

Hours after Facebook silenced all news publishers from his country on its platform, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday, 18 February, raised the issue with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, in an effort to stop the internet giant from “bullying” elected governments, reported The Sydney Morning Herald.

Facebook’s action has sparked a major outrage in Australian political circles and Prime Minister Morrison hopes to receive the backing of global leaders in his country’s fight against the tech giant.

“They may be changing the world, but that doesn’t mean they should run it. We will not be intimidated by this act of bullying by BigTech, seeking to pressure parliament as it votes on our important News Media Bargaining Code.”
Scott Morrison, Australia PM, in a Facebook post

Describing Facebook’s effort to silence news, health and emergency services in the country from its platform as an attempt to “unfriend Australia,” Prime Minister Morrison said he was “in regular contact with the leaders of other nations on these issues.”

The developments unfolded after the Australian government proposed a law that forces social media platforms to pay publishers for using their content.

Facebook, in a blog post, defended its action stating the proposed Australian law “fails to recognize is the fundamental nature of the relationship between our platform and publishers.”

Facebook had said that only news had been scrubbed but came in for criticism when it became clear that along with news pages, several official health pages, emergency safety warning pages, and welfare networks have also been removed by the social media tech giant.

While several government-backed Facebook pages have been restored, many international media sites remained scrubbed, including outlets like The New York Times, BBC, and News Corp’s Wall Street Journal.

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