“Facebook’s decision to prevent users viewing or sharing public interest journalism will make it a weaker social network,” said Peter Lewis, director of the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology.
“The social network is destroying its social license to operate. Facebook actions mean the company's failures in privacy, disinformation, and data protection will require a bigger push for stronger government regulation.
“Without fact-based news to anchor it, Facebook will become little more than cute cats and conspiracy theories.
“At a time when the importance of facts in dealing with a global health crisis are critical, Facebook’s decision is arrogant, reckless, and dangerous.
“For years Facebook has been holding back against valuing facts and taking accountability for what their network promotes.
“It has honed advertising models that excite, enrage, and divide its users and fails to recognise the benefits of anchoring its network in ethically-curated news content.
“If Facebook determines to treat Australians with such contempt, Australians should respond by ending its use of Facebook and using alternate ways to connect online.”