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Tags Current Affairs

Facebook restoring news sharing in Australia

Date: 24 February 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Facebook has announced that it would restore the sharing of news links by users and news publishers after it struck a deal with the Australian government.

 

Background

The Australian government is adding four new amendments to the proposed legislation. Earlier it said it would not make any amendments to the proposed legislation.

 

Details

  • The new media code will not be applied to Facebook if the company can show that it has signed enough deals with news publishers in order to continue supporting newsrooms.

  • Facebook has said that if the code is applied to them in the future, then they could pull out news from the country once again.

  • Facebook had banned all users and news publishers based in Australia from posting links to news on the platform.

  • The ban also impacted pages of Australian hospitals, charities, government organisations who found their pages had been wiped clean.

  • Facebook will retain the ability to decide if news appears on the platform, thus ensuring that they won’t automatically be subject to a forced negotiation.

 

New changes to the code

  • Australian government’s amendments include a two-month mediation period, which will give two sides more time to negotiate commercial deals, before going into arbitration.

  • Earlier, the code called for mandatory arbitration with a government-appointed arbitrator, if news publishers and tech giants were unable to come to a fair deal for displaying news content. 

  • The amendments also insert a rule that an internet company’s contribution to the sustainability of the Australian news industry via existing deals be taken into account before the code is applied to them, and at least a month’s notice would be given before it is actually applied.

  • These amendments will provide further clarity to digital platforms and news media businesses about the way the code is intended to operate and strengthen the framework for ensuring news media businesses are fairly remunerated.

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