As of midnight on Wednesday Facebook blocked many sources of news for their users. Several sites reported "no posts" and thus no news feed.
Although the actual newspapers still have their own websites available, and will continue to do so, many people get all of their news from Facebook and so are uninformed.
Facebook also blocked state police and health sites and even the Bureau of Meteorology. Even commercial and charity Facebook pages were affected.
The Australian government is enacting legislation that would require digital companies, including Facebook and Google, to pay for news content. Although most of these news stories can be obtained from their home sites, the blocking of any media and news reporting by anyone is very worrying.
It could be that this is Facebook's way of saying that if you want us to pay for your journalism then we are not going to play and are going away.
It costs money to generate reliable, well-researched, and accurate information. Those who profit from this should expect to pay for it.
I, and many others, do that by paying for subscriptions to physical and online newspapers.
I will be following this story, although not by Facebook posts.
Dennis Fitzgerald, Box Hill, Victoria
Who cares about Facebook?
I must say that I do not understand the current fuss over Facebook restricting access to Australian news and government sites.
I hope that I am not the only one who was completely unaffected by their restrictions.
I have always avoided Facebook, and others, shovelling me information based upon their profiling algorithms. Untangling Facebook from its current online omnipresence is one of the greatest challenges we face.
Facebook has no value to add whatsoever. The solution to reducing Facebook's power is very simple, the universal abandonment of Facebook. Let's do it.
Neil Wilson, Turner
Some news is "priceless"
I'm fascinated by the concept of calculating how much Facebook and Google should pay the ABC for news that the ABC provides for free to all. Perhaps you could let us know.
On the subject of Murdoch's "news", if I were representing Facebook in court my first line of attack would be to seek a clear definition of what is "news" and then to claim the Murdoch press contains very little of it.
S W Davey, Canberra
Much ado about nothing
Facebook is "much ado about nothing" as far as I'm concerned.
I may have an account, the result of a moment of madness while living overseas many years ago, but it's inactive. I don't use it.
As for news, I still enjoy buying a printed paper from time to time and I subscribe to this wonderful journal online. I also have apps for other news sources.
I watch TV and I google stories of interest. When I communicate with friends I use email. I send and receive text messages and sometimes I even make live phone calls.
If I need information about a business, I find it by other means. Facebook means nothing to me. It's only been around for 17 of my 67 years. I have and can continue to live without it.
Keith Hill, Nuriootpa, SA
In light of the current "wailing and gnashing of teeth" over the decision by Facebook to remove news and other items from its platform, I must say I do feel vindicated for never succumbing to the scourge of social media, particularly Facebook.
I wonder how long it will take before it reverses its decision or, better still, its users find alternative platforms to source their information, to send Mr Zuckerberg a message that Facebook is indeed expendable.
Angela Kueter-Luks, Bruce
It is Marion's turn
Canberra has just celebrated the 150th anniversary of the birth of Marion Mahony Griffin, She was a key partner in its winning design and one of the parents of Canberra. There are reasons "Why Marion Mahony should be recognised" (Panorama, February 14) . She was a pioneer graduate in architecture in Illinois and practised in her own right with Frank Lloyd Wright. However, she died in obscurity on August 10, 1961. It's time to make her memory permanent in Canberra.
An annual Marion Mahony Griffin Prize in Canberra would be appropriate, for a recent female graduate in architecture or town planning. It would inspire and acknowledge those women who pursue their dreams of excellence in architectural design and town planning. It would be the "wright" thing to do; to maintain the magic of Marion.
Peter Graves, chair, Canberra Chapter, Walter Burley Griffin Society
What is iconic?
I agree with Tony Trobe ("Why ACT needs iconic buildings", February 15, p8) about the "city to the lake" concept. Central Canberra could be made much more attractive to both Canberrans and visitors if the Civic precinct were connected seamlessly to Lake Burley Griffin.
The latter location takes me to Mr Trobe's comments about "iconic buildings" and the world-renowned Sydney Opera House. I am aware that some architects dismiss the Australian National Library building as a B-grade imitation of classical Greek architecture. However, its elegant and simple, almost austere form, and the way it seems to grow as you approach it, seem to me symbolise of its role as a treasury of human knowledge.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
Last week Deputy PM Michael McCormack said that agriculture should be excluded from any mid-century target for zero net emissions.
This week we read the Morrison government has given a million dollars to the agricultural science company Sea Forest to fast-track supplies of the Asparagopsis seaweed supplement that can reduce methane emissions from livestock by more than 98 per cent ("Grant to help ramp up production of seaweed feed additive", canberratimes.com.au, February 15).
Sea Forest developed the supplement with CSIRO. The seaweed has the added benefit of de-acidifying the oceans by removing carbon dioxide.
This is excellent news. It really is a game changer if for no other reason that it keeps ruminants (mainly cows and sheep) in the agricultural sector without our worrying about their methane emissions.
There is a lot of hilly country that cannot be put to the plough but is suitable for grazing. At a time when we drastically need to reduce emissions, we also have to keep our eye on food security.
We simply cannot lose all the food that comes from animals that graze on pasture. Of course, there are problems with running hard-hoofed animals on the Australian landscape, nevertheless, that can be managed with good animal husbandry.
What bewilders me is why Michael McCormack seemed unaware of the grant and the potential for a significant reduction in emissions from the farming sector through the use of this seaweed supplement. Farms are both sources of emissions and sinks, and with a bit of government help like this grant, they should be able to be carbon neutral by 2050.
Jenny Goldie, Cooma
Stuart on target
Nicholas Stuart ("Can Albo crumble his way to power", February 15, p18) has, as usual, "hit the nail on the head" with his last sentence. "Perhaps big policies might be the answer after all".
Nick Feik's stunning revelations of the unethical behaviour, scandals and mismanagement within the Morrison-Frydenberg government in this month's The Monthly entitled "The scandals he walks past" has provided an opportunity.
Big policies that would offer the electorate a reformed system of government free of corruption, scandals, rorts and political donations could well win the next election in a landslide.
Murray Upton, Belconnen
I know what I like ...
Thank you so much for the Peter Haynes review of Songs of Earth - an exhibition of the works of Stefan Heyer ("A joyful, vibrant, celebration of the language of painting", February 15, p37). My husband and I enjoyed his "over the top" language so much that we laughed almost until our sides ached.
The accompanying detail from one of the pictures on show seemed to be a variety of colour just splashed on a canvas. I can only hope that the full picture has more going for it than that.
Rosalind Bruhn, Curtin
Board should go
According to the Australian Institute of Company Directors, "the board of directors are responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of an organisation".
Furthermore they are responsible for overseeing "both performance and compliance in accordance with the organisation's purpose and objectives". The board of directors of Crown have no option but to resign; en masse and immediately.
Tom Hollins, Pearce
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