Australian Department of Health ceases all Facebook advertising

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The Australian Department of Health on Monday announced its decision to stop running a promotional campaign on Facebook, a retaliatory measure taken against the social network that blocks news content in protest against a government-backed bill .

This blockage comes at the time of the launch of the vaccination campaign against COVID-19 in Australia in which the government has invested some 16.5 million euros to promote it to the population and thus try to counter the conspiracy theories of the anti-vaccine.

Health Minister Greg Hunt announced Sunday that his ministry will continue to fund the advertising campaign but not on Facebook.

“All our funds will be used,” said Mr. Hunt, specifying, however, that his ministry will continue to publish information on this social network but will no longer use it to promote it.

Australia is in dispute with Facebook over a bill that aims to force the tech giants to pay the media for the recovery of their content.

The American giant is firmly opposed to it and on Thursday, in retaliation, it blocked news content on its network.

Several official rescue service pages were temporarily affected, sparking an outcry.

This bill is due to be submitted to Parliament this week. However, Facebook is reportedly still in talks with news groups across the country and the government to try to find a solution.

This spectacular action by the American giant contrasts with the attitude of Google, which has concluded agreements with press groups, foremost among which News Corp. by Rupert Murdoch and the Guardian.