Facebook has confirmed it will be restoring news to its user feeds in Australia after a series of amendments to Australia’s proposed News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code were introduced.
These amendments are intended to “provide further clarity to digital platforms and news media businesses about the way the Code is intended to operate,” according to a joint release from Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher.
“After further discussions with the Australian government, we have come to an agreement that will allow us to support the publishers we choose to, including small and local publishers,” said Facebook global news partnerships VP Campbell Brown in a statement. “We’re restoring news on Facebook in Australia in the coming days.”
“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 a forced negotiation. It’s always been our intention to support journalism in Australia and around the world, and we’ll continue to invest in news globally and resist efforts by media conglomerates to advance regulatory frameworks that do not take account of the true value exchange between publishers and platforms like Facebook.”
Facebook blocked all Australian and international news from the feeds of all Australian users late last week in response to a proposed new mandatory bargaining code that would force tech companies like Facebook and Google to pay for the journalism they display.
Unfortunately, Facebook’s sudden news ban also resulted in the temporary muting of a large number of non-news organisations, including emergency services, government health departments, cancer charities, satirical comedy websites, video game publishers, and even a host of international sports teams.
Several Australian news organisations have already brokered content deals with Google for their content to be displayed in Google’s News Showcase, reports the ABC. Facebook is yet to do so.
Luke is Games Editor at IGN’s Sydney office. You can find him on Twitter sporadically @MrLukeReilly.
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