Update: Facebook and the Australian government have found a truce, after holding news sites hostage, so your favourite LEGO sites are now accessible again via Facebook!
It’s been a whirlwind day in Australia, with Facebook implementing a hard ban on News Sites from their social network.
If you woke up today and felt that your News Feed was a little quiet and missing uh, News, it’s because the social media giant made sweeping changes, removing news sites and pages from Australia.
Read Facebook’s announcement here, and an explainer by our national news broadcaster.
It’s pretty bad because a LOT of other important organisations like Weather services, Local Health Authorities and Community groups also got banned.
When this issue was bubbling in the background, most people were expecting that this would only impact large commercial news organisations, but turns out LEGO bloggers, fan media and news sites have all been essentially banned from Facebook today.
The situation is changing rapidly, but boy is this is an annoyance that’s on par with stepping on LEGO.
Thankfully, my Facebook page miraculously escaped unscathed BUT links to posts and my blogs have been banned from Facebook, so you can’t share links to any of my posts directly to the news feed.
This is what happens when I try to share direct links to the Facebook feed.
Other LEGO sites and bloggers have not been too lucky.
If you’re located in Australia, you won’t be able to visit the Facebook pages of sites like Brickset, The Brick Fan, or even local bloggers like Bricktastic Blog & Blockwarts
You’ll be greeted with this blank post if you try to access most of your favourite LEGO news sites – which is bad news if you rely on Facebook to keep up with LEGO news.
It’s a little inconsistent, because pages like New Elementary and mine are still up.
So what can you do? If it helps, try visiting these websites directly, especially my Australian peers who are impacted directly by having their entire pages nuked – I believe they can’t even be access from overseas.
Note: If you’re from overseas, this won’t impact you in any way, except that you won’t be able to access some Australian LEGO fan media pages
To not miss out on any news, reviews and new content, be sure to subscribe to my Newsletter below, and follow on Google News, Twitter, or Instagram to be alerted on new posts.
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I highly recommend subscribing to their newsletter as well, and also to check whether you’re subscribing to other international LEGO sites Brickset if you used to get news from them via Facebook/Facebook Groups.
It’s all a mess, and while I run this blog as a hobby, it’s really unfair and shows off just how incompetent the Australian government is when it comes to regulating social media, and their ham-fisted approach to technology.
Please consider visiting other Australian LEGO fan media directly, and also subscribing to their newsletters to ensure that they’re still able to reach LEGO fans.
Hopefully this all blows over and Facebook eases up on some of us smaller publishers and content creators!
Demarcation Media says
What the actual heck. Facebook is crazy.
Paul Castle says
I guess the only thing to do is what we did before social media as we know it began: subscribe to stuff via email, just like we do with your blog postings. The facebook ban seems an unnecessarily draconian approach though.
Yeah, I’m very thankful for my RSS feeds for that – but there are a few pages I subscribe to for news that I like getting from Facebook that are now gone.
It’s really unnecessary but this is what happens when Big Business goes up against Governments… in the end, the little guy becomes collateral damage.
Link to ABC site doesn’t work. Maybe this was where you were headed: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-18/facebook-news-ban-what-just-happened-post-zuckerberg/13166710
Ooops, yes! Not sure what happened there – maybe they changed the URL. I’ve updated the link, thanks for that!
I’m glad I never access your or other blogs via Facebook. Facebook is acted like a spoilt child, they are being told to pay for news articles they profit off with ad revenue, so there solution is this? Not to mention cutting off essential services Facebook pages like the Bureau of Meterology during flooding, Neighbourhood Watch Pages, Domestic Violence Pages, Government Health Pages during a pandemic, Charities etc etc. what have they got to do with News? Facebook as a platform has been in decline for years, I hope this hastens it, who needs them?
As much as I loathe Facebook and Zuckerberg, I have to take their side with this one. The way the legislation was written, nearly anything can be considered news which is why a lot of other pages and organisations got caught up. Thankfully, some of those pages have now been restored, but yeah, not ideal.
For publishers and content creators like myself, Facebook is free to use, and has helped built up a community and audience, not to mention all the free traffic it drives for my blog and others.
Jay, I agree with your sentiment but first you blame the government with regard to social media regulation then blame fb for going too far. I can only guess what the government asked fb to do but just seems contradictory.
Not trying to be political or anything, just don’t want your comments misinterpreted.
Sorry, should clarify.
Basically, the govt threatened Facebook to pony up, or share their algorithm which they wouldn’t do. This matter has been escalating in the background and I’ve been following it closely as I work in the industry (not related to news) so there’s some potential impact.
What I mean by FB going too far is also banning access to community groups, brand pages, hobby pages and organisations that aren’t anywhere close to what most people think is news.
They’ve started restoring some pages but it was a bit heavy handed, but was a direct response to the proposed legislation.