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Official Press Release

While Facebook bans publishers, Viber’s CEO invites ALL Australians to use the platform for free

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February 2021, Sydney — The Australian people recently discovered that Facebook blocked access to a handful of news sources, as well as providers of information about vaccines. The Bureau of Meteorology, state health departments, the Western Australian opposition leader, medical organizations, and charities are among those to have been hit by Facebook’s ban on news in Australia to prove a point to the Australian government. 

In response to recent events, Rakuten Viber, the company behind one of the world’s leading apps for free and easy communication, announced it will not retaliate against users over a disagreement on government policy. Publishers of any kind and public organizations are welcome to share news content and important information on its platform, allowing Australian audiences to keep viewing and sharing content from Australian and international trusted news sources.

“Viber is proud to welcome Australian users and publishers to share news, links, and important stories on the app. We invite all of those outlets whose accounts were shut down by Facebook to open a community on Viber. During times when reliable information from trusted sources is crucial, Viber is free and open to all. Having access to factual, up-to-date information can make a difference in people’s lives,” says Djamel Agaoua, CEO of Rakuten Viber.

Since 2010 Viber has been leading the charge when it comes to social responsibility, by creating a safe, fun and informative experience for its users through chats, groups, and communities. As part of its role in protecting users’ data, in June 2020, Viber announced that it cut all business ties with Facebook. No user information (users’ phone numbers or personal data) is, or will be, shared with Facebook or its ecosystem.  

As part of its social responsibility strategy, Viber has a long-term engagement with WHO. ast year the two collaborated to fight against misinformation around COVID-19 with an interactive, multi-language, global chatbot. The bot aims to combat fake news and false information that has been circulating about the virus. It addresses the most commonly asked questions and latest news developments related to the pandemic from official health information sources.  

Local, regional, and global media partners share their news on the app with millions of followers free of charge. Viber’s partners include: WWF, Red Cross, Unicef, WFP, Washington Post, BBC, EuroNews, Le Monde, and other leading international organizations. 

Being one of the top five messengers in the world, Viber offers both publishers and users a way to connect and enjoy content through enhanced user experience, following the top protocols for users data privacy and encryption. Back in 2018, Viber was the world’s first messaging app to offer  public communities with an unlimited number of followers. This is a great way to interact at scale and can be used to share real time news, important updates, and keep people connected, especially during the time of a pandemic.  Communities on Viber encourage safe chats, keep members’ data private, and allow admins to moderate the discussions to maintain a safe and authentic space.


About Rakuten Viber: 

At Rakuten Viber, we connect people. No matter who they are, or where they are from. Our global user base has access to a range of features like one-on-one chats, video calls, group messaging, and updates and discussions with their favorite brands and celebrities. We ensure our users have a secure and free environment to share their emotions. 

Rakuten Viber is part of Rakuten Inc., a world leader in e-commerce and financial services. It is the official communication channel of FC Barcelona, and the official instant messaging and calling app partner of the Golden State Warriors.

Join Viber today and enjoy the world’s best communication experience.


Djamel Agaoua, CEO at Viber
Ofir Eyal - COO at Viber

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Alona Stein

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