World Facebook will restore news in Australia after talks with the government
Facebook's news blackout: Why folks outside Australia should care
A proposed law in Australia could be the first of many around the world."Assuming this draft code becomes law, we will reluctantly stop allowing publishers and people in Australia from sharing local and international news on Facebook and Instagram," Will Easton, who manages Facebook's Australia and New Zealand operations, said in an August blog post. "This is not our first choice -- it is our last.
Facebook says it willin Australia after a breakthrough in talks with the government.
The announcement caps month of bitter dispute between the American tech firm and Canberra, which had been working on legislation that would force tech platforms to pay news publishers for content.
The agreement "will allow us to support the publishers we choose to, including small and local publishers," said Campbell Brown, Facebook's vice president for global news partnerships, in a statement. She added that the company was "restoring news on Facebook in Australia in the coming days."
Australia's fire services, charities and politicians blocked in Facebook's chaotic news ban
Fire and emergency services. Domestic violence charities. State health agencies. © Robert Cianflone/Getty Images A message is seen on Facebook mobile, on February 18, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. Facebook has banned publishers and users in Australia from posting and sharing news content as the Australian government prepares to pass laws that will require social media companies to pay news publishers for sharing or using content on their platforms.
Last week, Facebook barred Australians from finding or sharing news on its service. The decision — which appeared to be the most restrictive move the company has ever taken against content publishers — forced the pages of media organizations andto go dark.
Facebook has advised the government of its decision, according to Australian Minister for Communications Paul Fletcher.
The announcement also came as the Australian Senate discussed the latest iteration of the media law, which was first introduced last summer.
The initial version of the legislation would have allowed media outlets to bargain either individually or collectively with Facebook and Google — and to enter arbitration if the parties can't reach an agreement.
Facebook’s ‘bullying’ of Australia worsens its problems in Washington
People looking for fresh reasons for governments to rein in the social network got some ammunition from the company’s latest power move.The company blocked all news content for users in Australia this week in the face of a proposed law that would force it to pay news publishers for displaying their content. The move provided instant fodder for those in the U.S. who say Facebook is too big, too powerful and verging on ungovernable — the very concerns that prompted federal and state regulators to launch an antitrust suit against the company late last year.
On Tuesday the Australian government said it would amend the code to include a provision that "must take into account whether a digital platform has made a significant contribution to the sustainability of the Australian news industry through reaching commercial agreements with news media businesses," among other measures.
"The government has clarified we will retain the ability to decide if news appears on Facebook so that we won't automatically be subject to a forced negotiation," Facebook's Brown said. "It's always been our intention to support journalism in Australia and around the world, and we'll continue to invest in news globally, and resist efforts by media conglomerates to advance regulatory frameworks that do not take account of the true value exchange between publishers and platforms like Facebook."
Google, meanwhile, had already been trying to get ahead of the new legislation by announcing partnerships with some of the country's largest media organizations, including Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and Seven West Media.
last week, Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg alluded to the changes that were ultimately announced Tuesday. He said that "if commercial deals are in place, then it changes the equation."
— Kerry Flynn contributed to this report.
Agreement between Australia and Facebook, which will lift its blockade .
AUSTRALIA-MEDIA-FACEBOOK: Agreement between Australia and Facebook, which will lift its blockage © Reuters / DADO RUVIC AUSTRALIA: AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND FACEBOOK , WHO WILL LIFT ITS BLOCK by Colin Packham and Byron Kaye CANBERRA (Reuters) - Facebook to restore news coverage in Australia after government proposed to amend bill intended to force digital giants to pay news groups for their content, Treasury Secretary Josh Frydenberg said on Tuesday.