Starting from October 1, Facebook might proactively block content, if “it determines” that doing so is “reasonably necessary” to avoid any legal or regulatory impact on the company. In short, the company has decided that it will take down content which isn’t necessarily unlawful, just so that it can avoid legal or regulatory scrutiny. Facebook told Bloomberg that the change will allow it to block users and publishers in Australia from sharing news. However, since Facebook told the publication that the change was global, it can have larger ramifications on free speech (more on that below). We have reached out to Facebook with a few questions about the change and will update the post when they respond. Facebook informed users of the change via an app notification on Tuesday. [caption id="attachment_220857" align="aligncenter" width="929"] Facebook's notification to users about the imminent change.[/caption] Facebook might block news sharing in Australia The change comes on the heels of Facebook’s announcement that it will not allow publishers and users in Australia to share local and international news on Facebook and Instagram if the country passes a proposed code which is set to challenge Facebook and Google’s influence over online news. Facebook said that despite numerous proposals to the Australian government, it was left with a choice of either removing news entirely or “accepting a system that lets publishers charge us for as much content as they want at a price with no clear limits”. “Unfortunately, no business can operate that way,” it added. Australia…
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