Facebook is shutting down social networks across Australia, including Twitter, Facebook Messenger, LinkedIn and Instagram, as part of a $US1 billion deal with Australian government authorities to curb cyber-attacks.
News Corp Australia reports the social network is set to shut its servers down from Thursday, November 5.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission confirmed the closures on Thursday morning, saying Facebook is removing social media accounts and the “liferays” service, which allows users to share content from third-party sites.
News Corporation Australia reports that Facebook is cutting off all social media and liferay accounts in Australia.
This is the final phase of a major cyber-attack that affected the financial services sector of Australia and the world.
“Facebook has announced that the services are being discontinued as part on a range of measures,” Facebook said in a statement.
“We are taking steps to reduce the impact of this attack.
Facebook will also close its global operations from Wednesday, November 6, and from November 6 through the end of the year.”
Facebook has already cut off the ability to share photos and videos from Facebook Messenger and Instagram.
The announcement comes amid concerns that some social media sites are being exploited by cybercriminals.
In February, Facebook announced it was ending its liferays service for people in Australia, and is phasing out all social networking and messaging services.
“After extensive research and discussion with our Australian and international partners, Facebook has decided to stop the use of the liferals services for the foreseeable future,” Facebook told customers in a post.
The company said that the closure of social media services will help ensure that Australians have more control over their data.
“In Australia, this includes ensuring that users have access to their personal data while online,” Facebook wrote in a blog post.
“The closure of the services will also ensure that Australia has the ability and means to identify, protect and investigate data breaches.”
Earlier this year, Facebook also announced it would shut down its social network in the US.
Facebook’s decision comes amid fears the company is losing control of its social media platforms.
Facebook is also currently battling a cyberattack on its global platform.
Earlier this month, Facebook revealed it had uncovered the existence of a Russian-linked social media account using the Twitter handle @RussianState, which had sent out hundreds of thousands of fraudulent tweets and videos, among other attacks.
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating the incident.
A Facebook spokesperson told News Corp Australia it is “working closely with our partners to identify the source of the cyberattack and identify any possible malicious actors responsible”.
Facebook has not commented on the investigation.