Facebook’s ban on Australian news will cut off a vital source of authoritative information for the Pacific region, government and industry analysts have warned.
Across the Pacific, thousands have found their access to news blocked, or severely limited, after the tech giant wiped all news on the platform in Australia in response to proposed legislation that would require Facebook to pay for content from media groups.
The ban’s impact is especially acute in Australia’s region.
Across the Pacific, thousands of people are on pre-paid data phone plans which include cheap access to Facebook. Those on limited incomes can get news through the social network, but cannot go to original source websites without using more data, and spending more money.
Government and industry analysts say that Facebook is a vital source of authoritative information for the Pacific.