Earlier this week, Facebook decided to block the ability to share news articles for people in Australia. This is retaliation for Australia’s proposed law to require Facebook and other tech platforms to pay news sources when articles are shared on their platform. The law attempts to support journalists and news sites since posting content on Facebook gives Facebook more profits and traffic than the source might get. So now, Australian people can’t post news articles on Facebook, and no one in the world can post news articles published on Australian news sites. It sounds a bit extreme, but when you’re the emperor of a massive community, anything goes, I guess.
Are we all slaves to Facebook?
This should show you how much power Facebook has over the internet population of humans. Content creators, businesses, and consumers might be getting a little too dependent on the Facebook Empire. It should be clear by now that Facebook can affect a country’s economy pretty heavily. Using Facebook to gain/keep customers is very lucrative. If they decide to cut you off, you’re probably going to struggle.
As a user, are you getting paid for all the data you’re giving Facebook? All of your Messenger conversations and articles and likes and comments and interactions? No, you’re not. But Facebook certainly is profiting off of it! Facebook isn’t just Facebook, either. It’s also Instagram and WhatsApp, which increases their surface area for data collection and manipulation significantly. If any of those Facebook properties are part of your business, things could get pretty rough if/when Facebook decides to take more advantage or cut you off.