Google threatened to shut down operations in Australia in January after a bill moved forward by lawmakers that forces the internet giants to pay news publishers.
Google and Facebook believed this was unfair.
So the tech giants announced they may close down their operations Down Under.
Last Thursday Facebook followed up on their threats and blocked Australians from viewing and sharing news on the platform because of proposed laws in the country to make digital giants pay for journalism.
According to CBS News Australian publishers can continue to publish news content on Facebook, but links and posts can’t be viewed or shared by Australian audiences, the U.S.-based company said in a statement.
But in the process, Facebook blocked readers from access to The Bureau of Meteorology, state health departments, the Western Australian opposition leader, and charities as a result of the company’s wide-ranging ban on sharing or viewing news.
Australia’s Prime Minister said on a statement that Facebook attacked a sovereign nation.
Now there is some bad news for the tyrants at Facebook.
A homegrown Australian news app is now doing better than Facebook in the App Store.
A homegrown app from Australia Broadcasting Company (ABC) topped iOS download charts in Australia, outpacing Facebook.
That’s important for one big reason: Facebook just banned news from appearing on Australian newsfeeds in response to a law that would require the social giant to pay for news.
If Australians really shift to using sources like the ABC app for news, it could represent a massive, positive shift in media consumption. Facebook has long been plagued by disinformation and bad actors, but a source like ABC actually vets information.
“Features include: reverse-chronological feed; less misinformation than the leading brand; and the ‘stories’ here don’t disappear after 24 hours! ” wrote journalist Casey Newtown on Twitter. “I think it could have a chance.”