The ethical obligations of Facebook to Australian journalism

When Facebook pulled the plug on ‘news’ in Australia last week, Koraly Dimitriadis saw it as the end of a long game for the social media giant, which has long been destroying journalism in Australia.

The ethical obligations of Facebook to Australian journalism


Has facebook been destroying news for years? Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash.

Koraly Dimitriadis

Wednesday 24 February, 2021

It’s a strange experience, scrolling through Facebook and seeing no news links. No news at all, just people talking about their days, sharing cat photos, cracking jokes about how we can’t see news.

‘news corp and guardian and abc all just published articles saying aunty donna are funniest and sexiest comedy troupe ever … wish we could share it with u but u’ll just have to trust us,’ Australian comedy trio Aunty Donna posted on their Facebook page. It definitely feels like some strange alternative reality.

Six years ago, when I had my first opinion article published, I was beyond excited. As a controversial writer from a culturally and logistically diverse background, being able to be heard on such huge platforms was a new world for me.

Before becoming a writer I was a computer programmer. Living my life as dictated by my patriarchal migrant culture, getting married young and exploding out of my marriage a single mother with everyone around me telling me to go back, it was validating and reassuring that my ideas, opinions and stories could reach women in desperate need of hearing them. I could help women that were suicidal, that were questioning their worth, that were feeling like they were abnormal in the face of conservative patriarchal expectations.

news corp and gaurdian and abc all just published articles saying aunty donna are funniest and sexiest comedy troupe ever … wish we could share it with u but u’ll just have to trust us

Posted by Aunty Donna on Wednesday, February 17, 2021

I was making a change. My writing was sought after. I had one, two, three articles published in a week sometimes. I had women contacting me in tears thanking me for my articles. Finally, I had found my calling.

And then, things started to change. It was a slow, gradual process of outlets cutting their budgets. Little by little, year by year, budgets have shrunk and shrunk at the same rate that Facebook advertising became smarter and smarter. Over time Facebook has created algorithms, prioritising posts by…


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