It looks as though the big three search engines have made a U-turn in their policies on news-sharing and social networking(Facebook Cuts Off News). They no longer want to be associated with the “alt” right. So what does that mean? Well, it means that they are now removing any ability for Australian citizens to be able to have their say through social networking. That includes Facebook, Google and others. How is that going to affect you?

Facebook Cuts Off News- Sharing in Australia

In a nutshell, this news means that you are not able to share or access information from such news sources as The New York Times, CNN, BBC and others anymore. So how does this new policy of these giant tech companies affect you? Let’s see.

Australian news-sharing has been increasing over the past years. Sites like Q&A, Google+ Business and many others have been making it easy for Australian consumers to access information, interact and share opinions through blogs, discussion boards and more. The main problem with these sites has always been that there was little moderation of content, and this has led to offensive material being published, including advertisements.

This new policy: Facebook Cuts Off News

This new policy by Facebook is a direct result of the numerous complaints about the offensive nature of some of the content which was being published by members of the public. According to a person who works at a news portal in Adelaide, Australia, the company has “now banned all Australian news outlets from being published from its platform”. However, she also says that Facebook will only do so if it can verify that the content provided by the outlet meets its own quality criteria. Now, it seems that this verification process might just be too tough for Facebook to manage. For one thing, Facebook is looking for a lot of different things before they would be able to decide whether or not a particular website is acceptable for inclusion on their site.

Requirement for publishing

For example, Facebook requires full and accurate identity details before publishing any Australian media content on their site. They also require a contact number and contact details, which are all valid. The site has yet to establish if it will be adopting the same rigorous process when screening media submissions. Australian media companies have also expressed fears about the impact such a move could have on their business. Many fear that the new policy by Facebook will prompt their respective clients to stop patronizing the site altogether.

However, Facebook’s head of media partnerships in Australia, Amy Jennings, has defended the move. She told news organizations in Australia that the changes were designed to make the site more transparent. She also pointed out that the social media giant has signed agreements with news providers in Australia for the future. Consequently, it is likely that news will continue to be published on the site, even if it is only partially in English.

The announcement by Facebook: Facebook Cuts Off News

The announcement by Facebook came after several months of negotiations between the company and various media groups. It follows a decision by Google Australia to impose similar curbs on its search results, which have affected several high profile sites including Google Buzz, Google Maps, Google Reader and Now Podcast. While this is a small step towards increasing the transparency of social media, it is unlikely that other large players will follow suit. The moves by Facebook are therefore largely symbolic, and the focus is likely to shift elsewhere, as Google continues to expand its influence. In the UK, Google also intends to introduce new applications that will compete directly with current services such as the BBC’s iPlayer.

Closing Notes: Facebook Cuts Off News

Concerns have also been raised by news media organizations about potential conflicts of interest between left-leaning media and right-leaning news sources. News organisations have expressed concerns over whether the new policies by Facebook will make it harder for them to publish stories based on confidential sources. However, Facebook has stressed that it will not affect how news is shared and promoted on the site. “While this feature is available in all Facebook pages currently, it is not available in the Facebook apps. This feature provides a means for people to share content with the people they know and prevents the need for news organizations to create separate Facebook profiles for themselves and their stories,” a spokesperson said. News companies that use the Facebook apps will still be able to publish to Facebook and receive shares from the relevant content.

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