Facebook is lifting its Australian news ban following negotiation

Facebook last week came under fire for pulling all news links and pages shared on its platform in Australia. The company took such dramatic action in response to the country’s proposed News Media Bargaining Code, a law that would compel social media companies like Facebook and Google to pay news publishers for links.

Facebook today shared an update to its blog post:

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. After further discussions, we are satisfied that the Australian government has agreed to a number of changes and guarantees that address our 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, we can now work to further our investment in public interest journalism and restore news on Facebook for Australians in the coming days.

Facebook’s trajectory in this case was very similar to Google’s. Both companies loudly protested the Media Bargaining Code and threatened to leave, but both were back in a matter of weeks. Google signed a deal with News Corp which included helping build a subscription platform and the cultivation of multi-media journalism. It’s not yet clear what Facebook agreed to, if anything.

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“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,” Facebook’s Campbell Brown, VP, Global News Partnerships shared in an additional statment.



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