The Facebook pages of numerous Australian government firms seem to have actually been caught up in the social media network’s ban on news posts by users and media companies in the country. Users on Twitter have actually reported that the pages of agencies like the Bureau of Meteorology, Department of Fire and Emergency Provider Western Australia, and Queensland Health have no posts available.

When Edge staff in the United States tried to access the pages, some saw them as having no posts. Other Edge staffers saw posts appearing as normal, however, though were typically viewing pages without logging into Facebook. Still, the volume of Twitter issues makes it clear that, for a minimum of some users, posts from those pages are unattainable. It’s unclear whether the different results were the outcome of a ban still rolling out or Facebook withdrawing the enforcement action.

Crucially, none of the listed Facebook accounts are Australian media organizations, which are not permitted to publish at all, and therefore must not be subject to the restriction. In some cases, eliminating the posts might publish a significant threat to the public, as some of the departments use Facebook as an approach to alert of imminent threats to public health and security.

When grabbed remark, Facebook stated the restriction should not impact federal government pages, but acknowledged there was some confusion in how far the constraint would reach. “As the law does not offer a clear guidance on the meaning of news content, we have taken a broad definition in order to appreciate the law as drafted,” a Facebook representative stated. “However, we will reverse any Pages that are inadvertently impacted.”

Facebook’s news ban is the outcome of a proposed Australian law that would require tech business to pay Australian news publishers for usage of their content. Australian users of the social media will no longer have the ability to access any news posts, whether it’s from the country or worldwide, and Australian news publishers will no longer be allowed to publish on their Pages.

Facebook is not the only company with a strong reaction to the proposed laws: Google threatened to remove its online search engine from the country entirely, but has since begun making handle news publishers in the country, including a significant deal with NewsCorp revealed on Wednesday.


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