Facebook Strikes Deal to Restore News Sharing in Australia
San Francisco – Facebook said on Monday that it had entered into an agreement with the Australian government that would allow users and publishers in the country to once again share and view links to news articles on social networks.
Facebook was blocked last week Sharing or viewing news links in Australia as the country was determined to pass legislation requiring tech companies to negotiate with media publishers and compensate for content appearing on their sites.
The law includes a code of conduct that allows media companies to deal individually or collectively with digital platforms on the value of their news content.
But on Monday, the Australian government added amendments to the proposed code. This included a two-month mediation period, allowing both parties more time to negotiate. Commercial deals that may help Facebook avoid operating under the provisions of the code.
In return, Facebook agreed to restore news links and articles to Australian users “in the coming days”, according to a statement by Josh Freudenberg, Australia’s treasurer and Paul Fletcher, on communications, infrastructure, cities and the arts Minister.
“The important thing is that the amendments will strengthen the hands of regional and small publishers in getting the appropriate remuneration for the use of their content by digital platforms,” the statement said.
Facebook Vice President of Global News Partnership, Campbell Brown said in a statement, “We are restoring news on Facebook in Australia in the coming days. Going forward, the government has clarified that we will retain the ability to decide if news arrives on Facebook so that we are not automatically subject to a forced negotiation. “
Mike Issac reported from San Francisco, and Damien Cave from Sydney, Australia.
This is a developing story and will be updated.