Facbook’s attempt to ban media outlets in its fight against a new government law turned out to be one of the greatest own goals of all time, Gympie Times journalist Scott Kovacevic (right) says.
Facbook’s attempt to ban media outlets in its fight against a new government law turned out to be one of the greatest own goals of all time, Gympie Times journalist Scott Kovacevic (right) says.

Take a bow Facebook, winners of greatest own goal in history

The most infamous own goal in history was scored at the 1994 World Cup by Colombian Andres Escobar.

Until today, that is, as fortunately for Mr Escobar, Facebook has just taken the crown.

The decision to excise mainstream media en masse was meant to be a calculated strike in the fight against a proposed Federal Government media law requiring tech giants pay Australian news companies for its content.

But instead of a tactical, precision missile strike from an F15, the company delivered the equivalent of playing with a shotgun after a few too many beers, unloading on its own foot so badly it'll take weeks to find the missing toes.

The social media giant’s ban caught more than media outlets.
The social media giant’s ban caught more than media outlets.

Not only did the ban take down media outlets, it claimed retail outlets, city councils, state health organisations, high schools and those terrors of journalism, the RACQ.

Even pages for domestic violence groups were caught in the crossfire - because what better way to say "we're fighting for the people" than silencing the victims of family violence?

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A round of applause for Facebook, everyone, which is now forced to roll some of these back while still trying to look like it actually knows what it's doing: "just smile and wave boys, just smile and wave".

Even Cairns State High School’s page was not immune to the “news” ban. IMAGE: Facebook.
Even Cairns State High School’s page was not immune to the “news” ban. IMAGE: Facebook.

It's not gone unnoticed either.

Glance at Twitter or news outlets and you'll find people realising just how much information one single company can cut off in a fell swoop.

There's no way other world governments aren't paying attention and if Facebook doesn't find itself at the centre of a regulatory spotlight it should buy a lotto ticket or two.

Facebook’s faux pas has not gone unnoticed.
Facebook’s faux pas has not gone unnoticed.

Of course, there has been some dancing in the street because the boil of "fake news" has finally been lanced from the buttocks of Facebook.

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I mean, why get news from award-winning journalists like Sherele Moody, Trent Dalton and Hedley Thomas when you can get the latest "scoop" about microchipped teeth and cyanide in your Listerine from Bush Lurkin' Billy's personal Facebook page?

Or Pete Evans?

But more people are now realising there is a wealth of information outside of Facebook; and one truth of a successful business has always been never give the customers a reason to go elsewhere.

Because there's no way back once people realise they don't need you.

Gympie Times


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