Facebook users are boycotting the social media giant with a “delete Facebook” movement gaining traction after users and publishers were banned from sharing news content.
Among hashtags gaining traction on Twitter are #deletefacebook, #FacebookWeNeedToTalk and #BoycottZuckerberg as users remove the Facebook app from their phones in droves.
WA businesses are among those lashing out at the ban on Australians sharing or viewing of domestic and international news via the platform, which comes in response to a proposed media bargaining code.
Karratha KAW Engineering founder and director Jared Fitzclarence launched a scathing attack on Facebook, committing to pull all paid advertising on the platform for his multiple WA businesses.
“As an owner of multiple businesses, and actively involved with numerous groups and organisations with a history advertising by way of Facebook, I am making a commitment to immediately cease all paid advertising,” he shared this morning.
“To all Australian entrepreneurs, I challenge you to do the same for your advertising budgets.”
Mr Fitzclarence also said he would “refrain from clicking on any paid advertisements within the Facebook interface until such times as Australian news content is fully restored to their platform and negotiates fair compensation for news content creators”.
The ban has even extended to community and sporting groups, emergency services and parenting groups, including AFL Women’s, Department of Fire and Emergency Services and Bureau of Meteorology.
WA man Zascha McNichol shared his disgust that Perth online parenting hub Buggybuddys had also been on Facebook’s hit list.
“Mark Zuckerberg is restricting access via Facebook for an Australian local community and parenting websites really necessary — Buggybuddys. This is deplorable behaviour. Please sort it out and ensure legitimate organisations are not caught in the crossfire,” he said.
Major retailers including Harvey Norman have had their pages wiped for content.
Videos of mini tutorials titled “How to delete Facebook account permanently” have circulated throughout Thursday morning while others have shared screenshots of their official account deactivation notifications.
South Australian man Michael Morand, like several others on the platform, told his Facebook friends to send through their phones numbers ahead of a ban.
“Who is ready to boycott Facebook? #BoycottFacebook #BoycottZuckerberg. Send me your mobile number in messenger if you still want to contact me. This social platform has played it’s last card. Let’s go back to the old method of talking to each other. With our phones that we pay for every month to use,” he said.
Science & Technology Australia chief executive Misha Schubert voiced her “deep concern” over the changes.
“To block content from trusted science and health organisations during a pandemic and bushfire season is irresponsible and dangerous,” she said.
SA photographer Susan Adey described the ban as “disgusting”.
“It has removed access to government information such as SA Health — not good in the middle of a pandemic, SES — State Emergency Services, CFS — Country Fire Service and it is a day of high fire risk today. This is disgusting. Government and volunteer organisations like the CFS are not news services. Maybe it is time to #BoycottFacebook,” Ms Adey said.