In the dead of night, Facebook flipped the switch.
Australians slept through the sudden change to their newsfeeds this week as the social media giant made good on its threats to block news sharing.
Among those caught by surprise were government ministers and staffers, who had gone to bed on Wednesday night without a sign Facebook had immediate plans to take the extraordinary step.
Hours before, the House of Representatives had passed a bill legislating a bargaining code that would force Facebook to negotiate fair deals with news organisations for content shared on its website.
It was the trigger for the social media company, which retaliated by pulling news sharing from the newsfeeds of users in Australia.
The sun had barely risen when Treasurer Josh Frydenberg took to one of the Silicon Valley giant's competitors, Twitter, and confirmed he had spoken with Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg for 30 minutes on Thursday morning.
His conversation with the tech billionaire, he said, had been constructive - and the two agreed to keep talking, which they did again on Friday.
"We talked through their remaining issues and agreed our respective teams would work through them immediately," he said.
"We'll talk again over the weekend. I reiterated Australia remains committed to implementing the code."
The rest of the world's eyes are on us because others have failed where we're now trying to succeed. So let's see how it plays out.Treasurer Josh Frydenberg
Meanwhile, the bill creating the bargaining code awaits passage through Parliament, where the true effect of Facebook's move could be measured soon.
Despite ample warning from the company, its manouevre resonated as a shock tactic. The effect may have been unwittingly abetted by the other main target of the proposed media bargaining code.
Google Australia had made a similar threat to that made by Facebook, saying it would withdraw its search engine from Australia if the government made it pay news organisations for their content through the proposed reforms.
Unlike Facebook, Google hasn't yet followed through. And as media attention began to focus on the search engine's growing list of deals with news companies, Facebook remained quiet.
The difference between the two tech giants in their approach hasn't escaped notice.
University of NSW School of Taxation and Business Law associate professor Rob Nicholls says both Google and Facebook initially failed to convert their talk last year about their news products into actual offers to media companies.
"When the bill was introduced, Google then converted the talk into an offer, and that offer's been taken up by major news media corporations," he says.
"Facebook sat on its hands, and now has pulled the trigger on its exit strategy.
"One looks like sound business practice, the other looks like petulance, but it looks like petulance that's driven by a global view rather than a local perspective."
Associate Professor Nicholls says if Facebook only operated in Australia, stopping news sharing on its website would be fatal for its own future.
However, there is more at play for the company, which is facing copyright reforms in Europe and anti-trust proceedings in the United States.
Facebook does not want Australia's media bargaining code to become a template for laws forcing it to pay news companies in other nations.
For all its appearance of strategy, Facebook's news sharing block on Thursday appeared chaotic in its execution. Non-media companies seemed to become collateral damage.
Facebook blocked posts from the Bureau of Meteorology, the ACT government and ACT Health, as well as those of community and social services organisations.
This was either unintended, or an attempt to demonstrate what Facebook regards as the broad definition of news content within the legislation. It rankled those affected, nonetheless.
Facebook argues the proposed code misunderstands the relationship between its platform and publishers using 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. With a heavy heart, we are choosing the latter," it said on Thursday.
"On the other hand, publishers willingly choose to post news on Facebook, as it allows them to sell more subscriptions, grow their audiences and increase advertising revenue," it says.
University of Sydney Business School professor of information technology and organisation Kai Riemer says a fundamental problem with the bargaining code legislation is it counts sharing links to news stories as sharing content.
"That's a real problem with the law, where it overreaches," Professor Riemer says.
"The mere sharing of a link shouldn't be counted as sharing the content itself, because the content itself is not being shared."
Another issue Facebook has raised with the bargaining code is that it could force the company to negotiate multiple deals with media outlets, including hundreds of smaller publishers.
The Treasurer said on Thursday this wasn't correct, and that "default offers" or block publisher deals could be made to reduce resources used to reach agreements.
Mr Frydenberg says the code is designed to level the playing field between the tech giants and news publishers, to protect public interest journalism and to make sure journalists are rewarded for generating original content.
"The rest of the world's eyes are on us because others have failed where we're now trying to succeed. So let's see how it plays out today," he told Sky News on Friday.
Facebook is also worried it will need to renegotiate deals each time it plans to roll out new products or services on its newsfeed, another concern Mr Frydenberg says is based on a misinterpretation of the code.
If the bill passes the Senate, it's possible Facebook will keep its news block permanent.
A life without news on our Facebook feeds might become a reality Australia has to live with.