Our @facebook page has been taken down in the broader ban this morning. As a community legal centre working to provide legal assistance to the renting community we hope this will be rectified. Updates can be found here, on our Instagram and on our website: https://t.co/dmfAEh5kg3— Tenants Victoria (@TenantsVic) February 17, 2021
But make no mistake about it, both digital platforms have essentially flipped the government the bird, and told it exactly who is the boss in this altercation.
The Facebook action was probably not anticipated, especially since Google has been cutting deals with news publishers left, right and centre, and not causing too much embarrassment to Frydenberg who has been the point man in this whole affair.
Troubles, as they say, never come singly. There is enormous public pressure on the government to sort out the Facebook issue and there is every likelihood that it will be forced into a humiliating backdown.
Communications Minister Paul Fletcher has been making some brave noises, but that is mere bluster. Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg holds all the aces in this duel and no-one is more aware of it than Fletcher.
It is evident from posts on Twitter that this is a wholesale exercise by Facebook as many pages that have no news content are also disappearing. In its announcement, Facebook said it would stop allowing news content on its services in Australia.
But that is not the extent of it. Many smaller pages, which do not fall within this definition, have become collateral damage.
Frydenberg has left himself some marginal wriggle room by tweeting: "This [Thursday] morning, I had a constructive discussion with Mark Zuckerberg from #Facebook.
"He raised a few remaining issues with the government’s news media bargaining code and we agreed to continue our conversation to try to find a pathway forward."
Expect more changes to the News Media and Digital Platforms Bargaining Code while it is in the Senate for final passage. And then wait for the government's spin. If anything, it will be a risible exercise as ministers cope with the egg on their faces.