A few days back, Facebook blocked publishers and residents from sharing news content in Australia. Facebook said that it would prioritize investments to other countries “as part of our plans to invest in new licensing news programs and experiences.” However, the company has published an update to its policy over sharing news content in Australia. The company says that it has reached an agreement with the Australian government.
As a retaliation for Australia’s proposed law to require Facebook and other tech platforms to pay news sources when articles are shared on their platform, the social media giant published a policy that said it would be blocking news content in Australia. Essentially, the law is an attempt to bring support to journalists and news sites since posting content on Facebook that gives the company more of the profits and traffic than the original source might get.
Since then, Australian PM Scott Morrison said negotiations had restarted. Now, the Australian government and Facebook appear to have settled their differences. As per news.com.au, Australian politicians confirmed amendments will be added to the News Bargaining Code. It will be done to “provide further clarity to digital platforms and news media businesses about the way the Code is intended to operate and strengthen the framework for ensuring news media businesses are fairly remunerated.” (via)
We’re pleased that we’ve been able to reach an agreement with the Australian government and appreciate the constructive discussions we’ve had with Treasurer Frydenberg and Minister Fletcher over the past week. We have consistently supported a framework that would encourage innovation and collaboration between online platforms and publishers.
Facebook says that discussions with the Australian government led to the govt. agreeing to a number of changes. It further guaranteed to address Facebook’s “core concerns about allowing commercial deals that recognize the value our platform provides to publishers relative to the value we receive from them.” As a result of these changes, the company will now work to further its investment in public interest journalism and restore news on Facebook for Australians in the coming days.