Australian Department of Health Stops Promotion on Facebook

The Australian Department of Health will no longer run promotional campaigns through Facebook.


The measure is a response to the news blockade by the social network. Facebook is protesting with that blockade against a bill that has the support of the government.

The blockade came as Australia launched the Covid-19 vaccination campaign. The government invested some 16.5 million euros in that campaign to make it known to the population and to suppress conspiracy theories.

Health Minister Greg Hunt announced that his ministry will continue to fund the campaign on Sunday, but not on Facebook. “All funds will be used,” he assured. Hunt also clarified that his ministry will continue to post information on the network but will no longer use it to promote it.

The conflict with Facebook has sparked outrage in Australia. The approximately 17 million Australian users have been unable to share links to news articles since last Thursday. They also cannot watch the news. Facebook responded to a bill that would oblige the company and Google to pay for sharing news content from now on.

The action of the American social network is in stark contrast to Google’s strategy. That technology company entered into agreements with various media companies, such as News Corp. from Rupert Murdoch.

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