Well, well, well, if it isn’t the consequences of Zucc’s own actions. When Facebook suddenly wiped out all news in Australia, it either inadvertently or just irresponsibly took out a whole lot of other pages with it.
Some of these pages served people in times of emergencies. Others were for front-line services. Others were a vital link for communities to get the information they need. And yet on Thursday morning, they’d all vanished in Australia.
Compiling a full list is almost impossible. Even if we’re just looking at arts and cultural organisations, almost 200 of them that we know of were Zucc’d in one go, and that’s not to mention countless charities and other organisations representing everything under the sun.
So a compromise, here’s a list of most of the important (and some unimportant) stuff
Mark Zuckerberg Facebook took down when it decided to ban news overnight.
At the tail end of a global pandemic, the health authorities we look to for public safety advice and info on lockdown restrictions vanished for a short period. NSW, South Australia and Queensland were all hit badly.
While most of the pages have since been restored and are now working like normal, it’s still pretty fucked that some trigger-happy minion at Facebook could just cripple Australia’s means of getting out health information to the general public.
A bunch of charities and other health-related NGOs were also Zucc’d, such as The Kids’ Cancer Project, which is still down at the time of writing.
— Chloe Bouras (@ChloeBouras) February 17, 2021
— Benjamin Strick (@BenDoBrown) February 17, 2021
Western Australia just saw bushfires which destroyed over 80 homes in and around Perth. It’s not a great time for the WA Department of Fire and Emergency Services to be Zucc’d without warning.
Fire & Rescue NSW also had its Facebook page taken down.
Luckily, both pages have since been restored.
— Peter Law (@PeterJohnLaw) February 17, 2021
Fire and Rescue NSW. Like, what? pic.twitter.com/wZAJIXOYal
— Kevin Nguyen (@cog_ink) February 18, 2021
Domestic Violence and Women’s Legal Services
On Wednesday night, the government voted to basically abolish the family court. On Thursday morning, a whole bunch of domestic violence and women’s legal services found themselves without a functional Facebook page.
This is really shitty news at a really shitty moment.
At the time of writing, the Facebook pages for the Women’s Legal Service in Tasmania, the South Australian Abortion Action Coalition and the Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre are all still down, but 1800RESPECT has thankfully been restored.
Our domestic violence charity page is still affected. This is where we put call outs for donations. pic.twitter.com/ByWRPG6cOQ
— RizeUp (@RizeUpAustralia) February 18, 2021
Targeting victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. @1800RESPECT
— Jason Om (@jason_om) February 17, 2021
The Bureau of Meteorology
Uhhh so Australia’s biggest and most important source of weather info got Zucc’d, which is both inconvenient and potentially dangerous.
Thankfully the Bureau of Meteorology’s Facebook page was restored later in the day.
Me to Facebook: Is the Bureau of Meteorology considered an Australian news publisher or was it mistakenly blocked?
Facebook spox: It is not – we are working to reverse this. pic.twitter.com/S8aSSIprdi
— Queenie Wong (@QWongSJ) February 17, 2021
A bunch of state governments and local councils had their Facebook pages yoinked for some amount of time.
Again, not great during a pandemic.
@ACTHealth and @actgovernment Facebook pages have been blocked. They are still here on Twitter. We are working with our colleagues to keep you updated on Facebook with info about COVID-19 and the vaccine rollout at https://t.co/G8Vu0qpxiJ
— ACT Health (@ACTHealth) February 17, 2021
Even a few politicians got Zucc’d, including the Facebook page of WA Opposition Leader Zak Kirkup.
The state election is less than a month away and his page hasn’t been restored at the time of writing. Yikes.
A few others were also affected, such as Brisbane Greens Councilor Jonathan Sri.
A few weeks out from a state election, the opposition leader has been banned by Facebook’s arbitrary decision. Wildly dangerous. pic.twitter.com/JZAGxKR9Xp
— Blake Johnson (@BlakeJohnson) February 17, 2021
Aussie satire publications like The Betoota Advocate and The Chaser have a history of conning people overseas into thinking they’re real news.
Now Zucc has apparently decided to nuke their Facebook pages under that very same premise.
Most of them have since been restored, except Shaun Micallef‘s Mad as Hell, which is literally a skit show parodying the news cycle.
Apparently sports updates constitute news, according to Facebook. The main AFLW page got Zucc’d, and even Quidditch Australia wasn’t spared.
This was another ridiculous oversight which is just penalising Facebook users who want to interact with their favourite (or even their own) teams.
QRL is down, individual sports teams in the state I’ve looked at thus far seem intact. pic.twitter.com/3uWpu2NNNa
— Kevin Nguyen (@cog_ink) February 17, 2021
— Michelle Moran (@michellemoran13) February 17, 2021
The Australian Unions Facebook page was temporarily down, but has since been restored.
However, the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU), the Health Services Union (HSU), the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) and other unions still don’t have their Facebook pages back up and running.
Interestingly, the Media Arts & Entertainment Alliance (MEAA) – the main union representing journalists which happens to support the government on this issue – appears to have been spared from the deleting spree.
So @Facebook has blocked access to our website. We are not a news organisation. Australian workers can not now find out about their rights at work via @Facebook. This is disgraceful & needs to be reversed immediately pic.twitter.com/588Qf1JbuD
— Sally McManus (@sallymcmanus) February 17, 2021
The Facebook pages for the University of Queensland and Bond University are still down at the time of writing.
Is this an excuse to skip tutorials? Good luck finding out.
Monash Uni was also Zucc’d, but its page has since been restored.
Bond University in QLD
— Kevin Nguyen (@cog_ink) February 18, 2021
North Shore Mums
Communications Minister Paul Fletcher says he has spoken to the administrator of North Shore Mums, whose Facebook page has also been blocked, “and that is of significant concern”
— Michael Koziol (@michaelkoziol) February 18, 2021
First Nations Community Media
While Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media organisations are of course journalism and therefore potentially within the scope of the bargaining code, it seems pretty slack when these vital (and often volunteer-supported) outlets are Zucc’d by policy aiming to target the bigger players.
These outlets provide an invaluable service across the country, including for many remote and disadvantaged communities.
It’s not just big news orgs bearing the brunt of the News ban by @Facebook. Smaller Indigenous and community media orgs are too. Vital for getting info out about COVID, telecommunications outages and emergencies to communities. pic.twitter.com/3v5FfFkCn9
— Sarah Collard (@Sarah_Collard_) February 17, 2021
First nations mob are big users of social media, particularly Facebook. The Morrison Government has created uncertainty and disruption just days before a rollout of the COVID vaccine is planned for remote Aboriginal communities and vulnerable groups. pic.twitter.com/x5FjYGRUTN
— Malarndirri McCarthy (@Malarndirri19) February 18, 2021
Oh yeah, and we are also cut off from accessing and sharing overseas news on Facebook, too.
This is some dystopian shit.
Australians can’t see any news stories on Facebook this morning after the company banned local users from posting article links. Both local and international outlets are blocked. E.g. This is what the BBC looks like in Australia pic.twitter.com/SJ4XBM8RnC
— Frances Mao (@francesmao) February 17, 2021
Facebook’s own Facebook Page
Perhaps the biggest own-goal of the day…
Facebook has banned Facebook’s own Facebook page pic.twitter.com/bvZGRaO77H
— Andrew Brown (@AndrewBrownAU) February 17, 2021
Suck shit, Zucc.
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