Facebook Reaches Deal With Australia to Restore News -- Update
By Mike Cherney
Facebook Inc. said it reached an agreement with the Australian
government to restore news pages to the social-media company's
platform, following a five-day hiatus locally due to a disagreement
over payment for content.
Facebook removed news from its platform in Australia last week,
as legislation that would effectively require Facebook and Alphabet
Inc.'s Google to pay traditional media companies for content worked
its way through the country's parliament. The legislation is being
widely watched globally and could offer a model for how other
countries could compel tech giants to pay for content.
"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," Campbell Brown,
Facebook's vice president for global news partnerships, said in a
statement. "It's always been our intention to support journalism in
Australia and around the world."
The Australian government said Tuesday it would amend
legislation to clarify how tech companies would be regulated.
Facebook's decision to remove news caught many Australians by
surprise, though the company had previously warned that it could
take such a move. To Australian users, the Facebook pages belonging
to media outlets in Australia and overseas--including The Wall
Street Journal--appeared blank, and users who tried to post a link
to a news article got a notification saying the post couldn't be
Lawmakers from the U.S., the U.K. and Canada criticized the news
ban, with some saying the tech giant could attract more scrutiny
around the world as authorities grow increasingly concerned about
its market power.
Write to Mike Cherney at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 23, 2021 00:31 ET (05:31 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.