CNN on Wednesday disabled its Facebook page for users in Australia in response to a court ruling that blamed media companies for defamatory comments posted by other users on their posts.
The Australian High Court ruled earlier this month that publishers are legally liable for comments added to their posts, although the stories are true and true. The decision was a blow to the country’s publishing industry, which immediately said it would affect how news media could use social media.
A major news agency is the first step in limiting the reach of its Facebook page, often a major driver of profitable internet traffic. The decision could have a big impact for other local and international outlets if they follow and change how Australians are able to view news content on their social media feeds.
The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news, added that CNN asked Facebook if the agency would help news organizations disable comments on its pages so that it could avoid any legal risks. Facebook, however, declined to create a blanket deactivation feature, saying it would help CNN disable comments on one post after another.
The process of doing this for each post will be very time consuming, the journal quoted CNN officials as saying.
“We are disappointed that Facebook has again failed to ensure that its platform is a place for credible journalism and productive conversations about current events among its users.”
The news giant’s Facebook page now has a “now unavailable” message for Australian users, adding that the page owner has “changed who can see it”.
Facebook told Reuters on Wednesday the move showed how Australia’s defamation law needs to be reformed, adding that it expects to “get more clarity and certainty in this area”.
CNN will continue to publish its news content on Australia’s own website and platform.