On Thursday the 18th of February, Facebook restricted Australians from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content. Globally, posting and sharing news links from Australian publishers is also restricted.
This is an evolving situation, and we will keep you updated as we hear more both from Facebook and the response from the news content providers.
Has my page been impacted?
Facebook has restricted pages that it has identified that shares news content. The impact for Sporting organisations is your results, team announcements, videos and imagery may be deemed as news content by Facebook, and therefore barred.
A number of National Sporting Organisations, local sporting clubs and other not for profit organisations “newsfeeds” or content has been removed from 18 February 2021.
See screenshot example of an impacted page.
My Page is gone! Now what?
While your news feed may be disabled, you can still update the “About” section. We recommend including a direct link to your own webpage here so your followers can find news and information on your own websites.
You can also update the category of page – suggest changing to a Sport/ Not for Profit or similar category, rather than a “News & Media Website” classification.
We also recommended you consider an alternative mix of technology options, such as YouTube for video, Twitter, LinkedIn, private Facebook Groups (not pages) and Instagram and emails (EDMs) to continue communicating with your members, fans and participants.
Are the posts gone forever?
Facebook has begun reinstating pages that were inadvertently caught up in the algorithm changes. Content that the platform still deems as news however is unlikely to be restored, unless a broader agreement with Facebook is reached, or the company changes its current stance.
Can I keep posting to my newsfeed?
As Facebook restores your newsfeeds, your organisation should be able to continue to use the platform. However, any content deemed as “news” may be blocked. While we do not know the full extent of this policy or its wider reaching impacts, it is safe to assume any third party site and news related content such as television footage, online newspaper articles, and blogs would most likely be blocked. We recommend you try linking to content from your own organisation’s webpage.
An alternative would be to consider a mix of technology options, such as YouTube for video, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Which Facebook products are included?
Facebook has applied the ban to Facebook newsfeed only. Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp were not included by Facebook. Paid for advertising activity from publishers is also still allowed.
Which publishers have been Impacted?
Facebook has not released a list of blacklisted publishers. Instead, we believe a broad brush has been applied to any of the below types of content/pages:
- News content reporting on current events,
- timely information that is not parody or satire
- Cite or link to fact-based sources for publication
What happens with future sport content?
This is currently unknown. As a lot of content comes from publishers such as television and online news websites it is quite possible this content may continue to be barred by the platform.