Facebook to restore banned news pages in Australia

Komal FatimaWeb Editor

23rd Feb, 2021. 12:03 pm

Facebook will now restore news content to the users in Australia, the platform announced.

Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced that Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg had told him the ban would end “in the coming days” after the pair talked. Frydenberg said that changes would be made to the law.

He told media on Tuesday, “Facebook has re-friended Australia.”

Facebook said that it had been reassured by recent talks with the government.

Campbell Brown, vice president of global news partnerships at Facebook, said, “Going forward, 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 forced negotiation,”

“We have come to an agreement that will allow us to support the publishers we choose to, including small and local publishers.”

The Australian government has encouraged Facebook to negotiate in good faith with media companies.

The social media platform has earlier blocked news pages since last Thursday after a clash over a proposed law according to which Facebook and Google were asked to pay news publishers for content.

It claimed that it had been forced to block Australian news in response to the proposed legislation.

The government’s news code aims to create “fairer” negotiations between tech companies and news outlets over the value of news content.

However, Facebook and Google strongly opposed the move, Both claimed that the code misunderstands how the internet works.

The Australian government says the code is needed to “level the playing field” for news publishers, which have seen profits slump in the internet age.

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