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China Daily / 2021-02 / 23 / Page008

Time to regulate social media companies

China Daily | Updated: 2021-02-23 00:00

In response to a piece of legislation proposed by the Australian government that platform companies must pay news publishers for using content, Facebook started restricting the posting of news links and all posts from news pages in Australia on Feb 17. Moreover, according to the company, posting and sharing of news links from Australian publications on Facebook is now globally restricted.

The decision is arguably the most restrictive move the social media company has taken against content publishers from a single country, thus affecting some basic public services in Australia, such as information published by public health and emergency response agencies. The tensions between the two sides show a common challenge confronting the world, that is to what extent should platform companies be restricted and regulated to make sure they do not take advantage of their monopoly and harm public interests.

Facebook's decision and its influence have often invited strong backlash around the world, as the people see it as a typical example of how tech companies exercise their monopoly to bully the public.

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