This is a concerning news. As again, I don’t comment on political developments, but it is apparent that social media has ingratiated in the lives too deeply. Most organisations haven’t prepared any backup plan, diversified or remain ideologically opposed to alternative platforms – even when the benefits of diversification far outweigh the “ideological concerns”.
In a blog post explaining the move, Facebook said it was shutting off Australians’ ability to share news on its platform and for international publishers to reach Australian audiences on it because “the proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content.”
It was almost immediately clear that Facebook had blocked much more than news. The Australian press and internal documents show that Facebook had also blocked pages for health services such as the Children’s Cancer Institute and Doctors Without Borders in Australia; fire and rescue services during fire season, including the Bureau of Meteorology and Western Australian Department of Fire and Emergency Services; and emergency medical and domestic-violence services such as Mission Australia and the Hobart Women’s Shelter.
What happens when a country goes to war or faces any natural disaster? Can they rely on a single source of “truth” as “Facebook”? What should be the communication pattern in case of emergency? Does anyone have time to read through Facebook posts if there is a forest fire? Why not have an independent web address and use it to funnel users there instead?
Besides, there’s always an heirarchy:
Facebook has many tools, such as “whitelists” that exclude some users from enforcement efforts, including XCheck, which ensures that high-profile users get special treatment, as the Journal previously reported. “Not even considering any of these tools before implementing the ban was not a technical glitch, but a choice,” the complaints allege.
Some people are more privileged than others.