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Facebook to Lift Australia News Ban


Australian social media giant barred Australian users from accessing and sharing news late Wednesday last week following a proposal to enact legislation to make Australian users a tech giant for journalism.
Facebook announced on Tuesday that it would ban viewing and sharing news on Australian platforms after a deal with the government over the proposed legislation, making digital giants pay for journalism.

The social media company caused alarm with its abrupt decision last week to block news on its platform across Australia after the House of Representatives passed draft legislation. Initially, the blackout cut access – at least temporarily – to the government’s epidemic, public health and emergency services, fuel evacuation.

Facebook’s collaboration is a major win in Australia’s efforts to create two major gateways to the Internet, Google, and Facebook, paying for the journalism they use – a faceoff that governments and tech companies around the world have looked at closely. Google had also threatened to remove its search operations from Australia due to the proposed legislation, but the threat faded. “There is no doubt that Australia is a proxy battle for the world,” said Treasurer Josh Friedenberg.

“Facebook and Google have not hidden the fact that they know the world’s eyes are on Australia, and that’s why they have sought to get a code here that is practical,” he said, citing the bill as the news media Negotiation Code.


In fact, this week, Microsoft and four European publishing groups announced that they would work together to advance Australian-style regulations for news payments from technology platforms.

The legislation was designed to curb the external bargaining power of Facebook and Google in their interactions with Australian news providers. Digital giants will not be able to misuse their positions by making take-it-or-leave-it pay offers to news businesses for their journalism. Instead, in case of a deadlock, an arbitration panel will make a binding decision on a winning motion.

Friedenberg and Facebook confirmed that both sides agreed to amend the proposed legislation. The changes will give the digital platform one month’s notice before being formally named under the code. They will give more time to broker agreements before they are forced to enter into binding arbitration arrangements.

A Tuesday statement by Facebook’s vice president for news partnerships, Campbell Brown, said the deal allows the company to choose which publisher it would support, including younger and local people.

“We are restoring the news on Facebook in Australia in the coming days. Going forward, the government has clarified that we will retain the ability to decide whether the news appears on Facebook so that we can automatically create a forced conversation. Don’t be subjected to, “Brown said.

Friedenberg described the consensus on the amendments as an “explanation” of the government’s intent. He said that his conversation with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was “difficult.”

A European publ ishers’ lobbying group that is working closely with Microsoft said the deal shows such legislation is possible – and not just in Australia. “The latest twist proves that regulation works,” said Angela Mills Wade, executive director of the European Publishers Council.


“Regulators around the world will be assured to continue to draw inspiration from the Australian Government’s determination to face unacceptable threats from powerful commercial gatekeepers,” Facebook said it would now negotiate the deal with Australian publishers.

Facebook’s regional managing director William said, “We are satisfied that the Australian government has guaranteed many changes and accepts our main concerns about allowing commercial deals, which derive from our platform Relative to the value publishers provide,” Easton said.


“As a result of these changes, we can now work to further our investment in public interest journalism and restore news to Facebook for Australians in the coming days,” Easton said. Meanwhile, Google is signing agreements with Australia’s largest media companies in content-licensing deals through its news showcase.

The platform says it has dealt with more than 50 Australian titles and more than 500 publishers globally to use the model, which was launched in October. Peter Lewis, director of the think tank Australia Institute’s Center for Responsible Technology, said in a statement that “the amendments maintain the integrity of the media code.”

However, others took a more skeptical stance. Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, who owns most of Australia’s major newspapers through his US-News Corp, is the biggest winner while smaller titles and new media startups suffer the most, said Jeff Jarvis, a journalism expert at the City University of New York. Will be.


Jarvis said that Murdoch’s media empire was the driving force behind Australian law, which he noted included the need for media companies to earn at least 150,000 Australian dollars ($ 119,000) in revenue to be eligible.

“So a startup that has no revenue, no real recourse,” said Jarvis, even though Facebook and Google negotiate open payments with smaller companies, “clearly a smaller player than a big player Has fewer clauses than News Corp ”

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