- Title: Expert says "reckoning" due for Facebook after CNN blocks Australians access
- Date: 29th September 2021
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR OF CENTRE FOR RESPONSIBLE TECHNOLOGY, PETER LEWIS, SAYING: "I think a number of news organisations are looking at turning their comments off. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. I think if you want to build community around news in a healthy way, you need to take responsibility for that ecosystem."
- Embargoed: 13th October 2021 08:49
- Keywords: Australia CNN Facebook comments defamation media online publishers
- Location: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
- City: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
- Country: Australia
- Topics: Asia / Pacific,Australia,Arts/Culture/Entertainment,Social Media
- Reuters ID: LVA006EWRT7YL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A communications expert said "there needs to be a reckoning" for Facebook's practices after CNN disabled its Facebook pages in Australia on Wednesday (September 29).
CNN said it is preventing Australians from accessing its Facebook pages after a court ruled that publishers can be liable for defamation in public comment sections and the social media firm refused to help it disable comments in the country. The move makes CNN, which is owned by AT&T, the first major news organisation to pull its Facebook presence in Australia since the country's High Court ruling.
Peter Lewis, director of think tank Centre for Responsible Technology, said that a number of news organisations were looking at switching off comments on their stories posted on Facebook due to the legal risk relating to the High Court ruling.
"Look globally Facebook is facing a swathe of regulation, litigation, expectation of changed behaviour as the negative impacts of their business model become more and more apparent. There'll be more of this. The fact is there needs to be a reckoning and I think we're living in it at the moment," said Lewis.
CNN's main Facebook page showed an error message when accessed from Australia on Wednesday.
CNN does not feature prominently in Australian media consumption, but the decision could have reverberations across the industry if other outlets followed suit.
(Production: James Redmayne)
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