Facebook accidentally blocks own page during Australian news takedown

The Facebook page, which was temporarily restricted on Thursday, has since been restored to full operability.

Sareena Dayaram
Sareena Dayaram
Sareena Dayaram Senior Editor
Sareena is a senior editor for CNET covering the mobile beat including device reviews. She is a seasoned multimedia journalist with more than a decade's worth of experience producing stories for television and digital publications across Asia's financial capitals including Singapore, Hong Kong, and Mumbai. Prior to CNET, Sareena worked at CNN as a news writer and Reuters as a producer.
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Facebook's sudden decision to restrict people in Australia from reading and sharing news resulted in an ironic if unintended consequence for the social media giant. 

According to multiple reports, Facebook accidentally restricted its own Facebook page on Thursday in Australia, before restoring it later in the day. An Australian journalist posted a screenshot on Twitter capturing the Facebook page in its limited state, showing a missing cover photo and a barren timeline with only the words "No posts yet." Facebook didn't respond to a CNET request for confirmation. 

Read more: Facebook pulled news in Australia. Here's why that matters everywhere.

But this wasn't the the only accidental outcome that arose from Facebook's sweeping news restrictions. The social media giant inadvertently blocked several Australian government pages including two official health agencies, cutting access to this health information amid the coronavirus pandemic. Some publications are blank not just in Australia, but around the world. 


Facebook's page in Australia restored.

Screenshot by Nicole Archer/CNET

Facebook began restricting people in Australia from viewing and sharing news Thursday in response to the government's proposed legislation. Known as the News Media Bargaining Code, it requires Big Tech companies like Facebook and Google to pay news publishers for their content, to which the companies link on their respective platforms.