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World

Facebook cuts deal with Australia, will restore news pages in the coming days

  • Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Facebook said a compromise had been reached on key aspects of the law, which was fiercely opposed by the tech companies
  • A global outrage sparked last week after the social media platform blacked out news for its Australian users and inadvertently blocking a series of non-news Facebook pages
23 Feb 2021

(Karachi) Facebook has announced that it will lift a contentious ban on Australian news pages, after the government agreed to amend a law requiring tech giants to pay media companies, local media reported on Tuesday.

As per details, Facebook said a compromise had been reached on key aspects of the law, which was fiercely opposed by the tech companies.

Facebook Australia Managing Director Will Eatson said, "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."

A global outrage sparked last week after the social media platform blacked out news for its Australian users and inadvertently blocking a series of non-news Facebook pages linked to everything from cancer charities to emergency response services.

The law, if passed, will make digital platforms pay local media outlets and publishers to link their content in news feeds or search results.

Under the amendments to the proposed bill, the Australian government will take into account commercial agreements that digital platforms like Google and Facebook have already made with local news media businesses before deciding if the code applies to the tech giants.

The government will also give the digital platforms one month’s notice before reaching the final decision.