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Facebook algorithm caused chaos ahead of Australia media law: WSJ


The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook purposely used a broad algorithm to block news in Australia last year, causing pages for charities, emergency services and hospitals to be affected.

Rafael Henrique | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images

Facebook used an algorithm it knew would affect pages beyond those of publishers in Australia ahead of pending legislation that would make digital platforms pay news outlets for their content, the Wall Street Journal reported.

As a result, pages for the Australian government and health services were taken down as the country began rolling out its Covid vaccination program, the Journal reported.

The Journal reported the social media giant did not notify the affected pages in advance and that the takedown was launched before an appeals process was ready — a break from typical procedure, the report said.

Whistleblowers filed documents and testimony to U.S. and Australian authorities alleging Facebook wanted to put maximum pressure on Australian lawmakers voting on the law.

‘Technical error’



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