Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has talked tough - tougher than any NZ politician - about social media, telling Facebook, Google-owner YouTube and Twitter that they'll face "significant" penalties if they don't move to stop the "weaponising" of their platforms.

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But while we wait for Morrison to detail any actual social media regulation, his Government is set to announce a A$65 million ($68m) top-up for a programme that subsidises Australian exporters to advertise on Facebook and the Facebook-owned Instagram.

The advertising subsidy increase will be announced by Trade Minister Simon Birmingham on Friday, through the export market development grant programme, which has been accessed by more than 3500 companies, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.


In NZ many government agencies have suspended or are reviewing their social media ad-spend - a process that was started before the Christchurch shootings.

On March 1, government departments were told to shelve advertising with YouTube after predatory comments were discovered on videos of children posted to the Google-owned internet giant.

After the attack, Tourism New Zealand was among those who suspended its advertising with Facebook.

It says it doesn't know if it will resume running ads on the platform which livestreamed the mosque attacks in which 50 people were killed.

"Our activity is still on hold while we work with our markets to determine the best approach to resuming," said a spokeswoman.

Tourism NZ is a government agency that spends $45 million on adverts (as part of its $117m annual budget) targeting overseas audiences and makes extensive use of social media including Facebook.

In the private sector, a number of large advertisers have boycotted Facebook. Again, the anti-social media movement built on activity pre-Christchurch, with Spark and TVNZ both sounding warnings about inappropriate content on social platforms last month.

The NZ-founded campaign to pressure social media companies has now gone global, with the World Federation of Advertisers calling on all brands globally to hold Facebook, Google and YouTube to account in light of recent failures to block dangerous and hateful content.


Not all are onboard, however. Air New Zealand - 51 per cent owned by the taxpayer - says it will return to Facebook.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said yesterday that social media companies need to do more to combat objectionable content, but has yet to detail any possible measures.