Facebook Gives A Thumbs Up To Restore Australian News Pages After Deal With Govt Law

Facebook on Tuesday, said it would restore Australian News Pages after negotiating changes with the government.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Facebook stated a compromise had been reached on key aspects of the law, which was fiercely opposed by major tech companies.

Will Easton, Managing Director of Facebook Australia and New Zealand in a statement said, “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 value we receive from them. As a result of changes, we can work to further out investment in public interest journalism and restore news on Facebook for Australians in the coming days”.

The social media giant received a global outrage last week, blacking out news for its Australian users and unwittingly blocking a series of non-news Facebook pages linked everything from cancer charities to emergency response services.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison had angrily accused Facebook of making a decision to “unfriend” Australia.

The Bill passed by Australia:

The new bill proposed by the Australian competition and Consumer Commission proposed that both tech giants – Facebook and Google are required to negotiate agreements with news companies and compensate them for the content published on their platform.

Facebook’s initial reaction – Managing Director of Facebook Australia and New Zealand, on 17th stated that, “The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content”.

Easton further said that last year Facebook generated approximately 5.1 billion referrals to Australian news publishers worth approximately AU$ 407 million.

Going against the legislation by Australia on monetization of online news content, Facebook blocked news publishers and users from sharing news and other links on their platform.