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Social Media impact [updated]

23 February 2021

23 February 2021

The Australian Government and Facebook have reached an agreement to restore news content to the platform. We do not have a time-frame on when this will occur, however we hope your content and ability to post is available soon. Please see the Australian Government media release for more information.

In the meantime we recommend using a mix of technology  such as LinkedIn, Twitter, You Tube, emails and your website to engage your members, fans and participants.

Current status:

Sport Australia was made aware of the following number of organisations impacted by the changes:

Organisation TypeNumber impacted
National Sporting Organisations 19
State Sporting Organisations 25
Teams/Sub pages 10

On Monday 22 February 2021, the Sport Australia Social Media team completed a review of all funded and un-funded NSOs (93 organisations in total). We are pleased to report the majority of organisations who were impacted by the changes have now had their content restored by Facebook.

The following NSOs have not yet been reinstated by Facebook: Artistic Swimming Australia, Baseball Australia, Blind Sports Australia, Unisport Australia, Waterski and Wakeboard Australia.

A number of SSOs, local organisations and smaller pages appear to still be impacted. Please let us know at anything you have found as useful workarounds to this situation.

My page is back but I still can’t post?

We have been informed by some organisations that their pages are back online, but as they go to post direct to their own website they’re receiving the below error message:

Error message

One option may be to try using a URL shortener such as Bitly as we have heard some organisations have managed this as a workaround.  The other recommendation is to ensure your content does not fit in as the classification of news as mentioned above.

If Facebook continues to prove problematic we advise to use a mix of communication options such as Twitter, Website, Emails (EDMs), Direct messaging, LinkedIn, Instagram etc.

18 February 2021

On Thursday the 18th of February, Facebook restricted Australians from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content. Globally, posting and sharing news links from Australian publishers is also restricted.

This is an evolving situation, and we will keep you updated as we hear more both from Facebook and the response from the news content providers.

Has my page been impacted?

Facebook has restricted pages that it has identified that shares news content. The impact for Sporting organisations is your results, team announcements, videos and imagery may be deemed as news content by Facebook, and therefore barred.

A number of National Sporting Organisations, local sporting clubs and other not for profit organisations “newsfeeds” or content has been removed from 18 February 2021.

See screenshot example of an impacted page.

Screenshot of “About” section of a facebook page

My Page is gone! Now what?

While your news feed may be disabled, you can still update the “About” section. We recommend including a direct link to your own webpage here so your followers can find news and information on your own websites.

Screenshot of updating the category

You can also update the category of page – suggest changing to a Sport/ Not for Profit or similar category, rather than a “News & Media Website” classification.

Screenshot of “About” section of a facebook page

We also recommend you consider an alternative mix of technology options, such as YouTube for video, Twitter, LinkedIn, private Facebook Groups (not pages) and Instagram and emails (EDMs) to continue communicating with your members, fans and participants.

Are the posts gone forever?

Facebook has begun reinstating pages that were inadvertently caught up in the algorithm changes. Content that the platform still deems as news however is unlikely to be restored, unless a broader agreement with Facebook is reached, or the company changes its current stance.

Can I keep posting to my newsfeed?

As Facebook restores your newsfeeds, your organisation should be able to continue to use the platform. However, any content deemed as “news” may be blocked. While we do not know the full extent of this policy or its wider reaching impacts, it is safe to assume any third party site  and news related content such as television footage, online newspaper articles, and blogs would most likely be blocked. We recommend you try linking to content from your own organisation’s webpage.

An alternative would be to consider a mix of technology options, such as YouTube for video, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Which Facebook products are included?

Facebook has applied the ban to Facebook newsfeed only. Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp were not included by Facebook.  Paid for advertising activity from publishers is also still allowed.

Which publishers have been Impacted?

Facebook has not released a list of blacklisted publishers. Instead, we believe a broad brush has been applied to any of the below types of content/pages:

  • News content reporting on current events,
  • timely information that is not parody or satire
  • Cite or link to fact-based sources for publication

What happens with future sport content?

This is currently unknown. As a lot of content comes from publishers such as television and online news websites it is quite possible this content may continue to be barred by the platform.

We recommend NSOs where possible create their own content, and link from their own websites, however this is an evolving situation and information is scarce. We will continue to make representations on behalf of the sector and provide further information as it becomes available.

Keep in touch

Please let us know if your sport, local or state bodies have been impacted. We plan to keep a list of impacted organisations and work with the sector on digital engagement strategies.

If you would like to get in touch please contact

You can also  go to the Facebook Help Centre:

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