New England MP Barnaby Joyce has hit out at the overnight decision by social media giant Facebook to block all news organisations from the platform, including local stories.
TheInverell Times isamong hundreds of news outlets across the country banned from sharing stories on the social media platform, along with some state and territory health authorities and the Bureau of Meteorology.
The ban came after months of negotiations over a new media bargaining code, which passed the House of Representatives in the federal parliament on Wednesday night.
Mr Joyce said the ban threatened the democratic process itself.
"This is more important than just the sulking of a corporate entity," Mr Joyce said.
"Because they have promoted themselves as a platform for the dissemination of one of the crucial elements of the democratic process. And now they remove themselves from one of the crucial elements of the democratic process, they're not slowly stepping away from it they're overnight removing it - they're actually affecting our democracy," he said.
He said the government would not be backing down to blackmail, and said the unprecedented blacklist was an escalation of negotiations.
"Australia's a test case for what happens around the world. The major platforms are playing hard ball. They're going to teach us a lesson as a warning to other countries, other people are watching to see how Australia goes.
"If you fall over on this now, you've given them free reign. Once you pick a fight you've kind of got to win it."
Facebook released a statement on Thursday and said the proposed media bargaining code fundamentally misunderstood the relationship between its platform and publishers who used it to share news content.
"It has left us facing a stark choice: attempt to comply with a law that ignores the realities of this relationship or stop allowing news content on our services in Australia," the company's statement said.
"With a heavy heart, we are choosing the latter."
Facebook has banned news from its platform. You can read our response here.
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