Facebook says it will lift its Australian news ban soon
Facebook said on Tuesday it will lift its ban on Australians sharing news after it struck a deal with Australia’s government on legislation that would make digital giants pay for journalism.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Facebook confirmed that they have agreed on amendments to proposed legislation to require the social network and Google to pay for Australian news that they feature.
Facebook’s cooperation is a major victory in Australian efforts to make the two gateways to the Internet pay for the journalism that they use.
Facebook blocked Australian users from accessing and sharing news last week after the House of Representatives passed the draft law late Wednesday.
Initially, the Facebook news blockade cut access — at least temporarily — to government pandemic, public health and emergency services, sparking public outrage.
The Senate will debate amended legislation on Tuesday.
Frydenberg described the agreed upon amendments as “clarifications” of the government’s intent. He said his negotiations with Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg were “difficult.”
“There is no doubt that Australia has been a proxy battle for the world,” Frydenberg said.
“Facebook and Google have not hidden the fact that they know that the eyes of the world are on Australia and that is why they have sought to get a code here that is workable,” he added, referring to the country’s News Media Bargaining Code legislation.
The code would undermine the bargaining dominance of Facebook and Google in their negotiations with Australian news providers by requiring a negotiation safety net in the form of an arbitration panel. The digital giants would not be able to abuse their overwhelming negotiating positions by making take-it-or-leave-it payment offers to news businesses for their journalism. In case of a standoff, the panel would make a binding decision on a winning offer…..read more
Source: AP News