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Emergency services, government health departments and weather forecasters blocked under Facebook ban

Government organisations in Australia including emergency services and weather forecasters have also had their pages removed by Facebook after the social media giant slapped a ban on Australian users and publishers from sharing or viewing news content.Fire and Rescue NSW, Department of Fire and Emergency Services WA, South Australia Health, Queensland Health have all had their pages wiped this morning.The Bureau of Meteorology also confirmed to it’s affected.

The Bureau of Meteorology said: “The Bureau of Meteorology’s Facebook page has been impacted by the broader Facebook changes.”It said information is still available on its website, app and Twitter.South Australia Health said on Twitter: “It appears SA Health has been caught up in the Facebook restrictions that came into place overnight for Australian news outlets.

“Our website remains active. You can follow our Instagram and Twitter for your health news.”SA Health has contacted Facebook to rectify this issue.”

Homeless charity Mission Australia and charities which are part of the Victorian Council of Social Services have also had pages wiped alongside some domestic violence services.The Medical Journal of Australia also said on Twitter its Facebook page had been “blocked”.The Australian Council of Trade Unions also said it has been blocked in a Tweet, while the page of satirical news site The Betoota Advocate was also removed.Hobart Women’s shelter page also appears to have been wiped alongside Women’s Legal Service NSW.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese called on the government to “fix this today”.”During a global pandemic, Australians can’t access state health departments on Facebook,” he said.”On a day of flood and fire warnings in Queensland and WA, Australians can’t access the Bureau of Meteorology on Facebook.”

The Victorian Council of Social Services also said many of its charity member’s pages had been affected.In a sign of the chaos, UK football teams including Rangers, Celtic, Manchester United and Chelsea’s pages can no longer be seen.Victorian Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien and WA Opposition Leader MP Zak Kirkup’s pages have been taken down.

Retailer Harvey Norman’s page has also gone.

The social media giant will prohibit publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content in response to Australia’s proposed media bargaining laws — a move Nine says will inhibit news creators from sharing quality news and information.Facebook this morning said it was left with a “stark choice” after being unable to find a “solution” in discussions with the Australian government.”The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content,” William Easton, Facebook’s Australia and New Zealand managing director, said in a blog post.”It has left us facing a stark choice: attempt to comply with a law that ignores the realities of this relationship, or stop allowing news content on our services in Australia. With a heavy heart, we are choosing the latter.”Nine, which is the publisher of this site, said it was “unreasonable behaviour”.

International news Facebook pages such as the New York Times, also can’t be accessed in Australia.

Non-news organisations caught up in Facebook news ban

Bureau of Meteorology

NSW Fire and Rescue

Department of Fire and Emergency Services WA

Queensland Health, ACT Health, South Australia Health

Australian Trade Unions

Victorian Council of Social Services

Homeless charities including Mission Australia, Sacred Heart Mission in Melbourne, Council to Homeless Persons

Domestic violence help including 1800 Respect, Womens’ Legal Service NSW

Victoria Opposition leader Michael O’Brien

WA Opposition Leader MP Zak Kirkup

NSW Police Legacy

UK football teams including Manchester United, Celtic and Chelsea

Bowel Cancer Australia

Harvey Norman

Brisbane City Council

Source: 9news