Facebook will LIFT Australia news ban ‘in coming days’ after talks to amend law forcing tech giant to pay for content


FACEBOOK has announced it will lift its controversial Australia news ban “in the coming days” as the social media giant reels from a fierce public backlash to the move.

The tech firm had imposed a ban on sharing news content in Australia last week as lawmakers there were set to approve a world-first media law that would force it to pay news companies to let stories appear on its platform.

But after talks between billionaire boss Mark Zuckerberg and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, the ban is due to be lifted shortly.

The company said a compromise had been reached on key aspects of the law, known as the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code.

Among the amendments is a provision that social media platforms will be given a month’s notice if the government intends to force it to pay news companies for content.

Facebook’s Australian chief Will Easton said: “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.”

Google agreed to the law and started paying such providers, yet Facebook took another route.

Following Australia’s implementation of the law, the social media company blocked Australian users from sharing or viewing local or international news content on its site as a protest against it having to pay for news.

Britain should follow Australia and make Facebook pay for news, Matt Hancock says

More to follow…

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