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Facebook this week alerted users that it will soon assume more authority to remove content on its platform if doing so allows the company to avoid legal or regulatory blowback.
The notification, sent to users around the world, warned that Facebook will update its terms of service on Oct. 1 to include a section that states: "We also can remove or restrict access to your content, services or information if we determine that doing so is reasonably necessary to avoid or mitigate adverse legal or regulatory impacts to Facebook."
The alert comes amid Facebook's escalating battle with the Australian government over impending legislation that it says could force it to block all news stories in Australia. The legislation, backed by Rupert Murdoch, would require Facebook and Google to pay media publishers for their content — an effort that the companies are fighting aggressively.
Emily Birnbaum ( @birnbaum_e) is a tech policy reporter with Protocol. Her coverage focuses on the U.S. government's attempts to regulate one of the most powerful industries in the world, with a focus on antitrust, privacy and politics. Previously, she worked as a tech policy reporter with The Hill after spending several months as a breaking news reporter. She is a Bethesda, Maryland native and proud Kenyon College alumna.