POST Online Media Lite Edition


Facebook to reverse Australian news ban after agreement

Christian Fernsby |
Facebook will end its ban on Australian news after the government agreed to amendments to its media bargaining code.

Article continues below


Under the amendments, technology giants including Facebook and Google would be forced to pay Australian media organizations for their content.

Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said on Tuesday that the government had reached a deal with Facebook that would allow Australians to share and access news on the platform.

It came five days after Facebook made the decision to block news in Australia in response to the proposed media code.

Under the changes the government will notify a company before forcing it to comply with the code.

Frydenberg on Tuesday thanked Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and chief executive of Facebook, for engaging in "constructive" discussions about the legislation and said the company now intends to sign deals with Australian publishers.

"The government has been advised by Facebook that it intends to restore Australian news pages in the coming days," he said. "It has been a difficult process, but these are really important issues. Facebook is now going to engage good faith negotiations with the commercial players," he said.

William Easton, managing director of Facebook Australia and New Zealand, said in a statement that the company was "pleased" with the agreement.

"We have consistently supported a framework that would encourage innovation and collaboration between online platforms and publishers," he 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," said Easton.

What to read next

New York: Facebook doesn't care about users' data sharing
Facebook threatens to block Australian users from posting news stories
FTC sues Facebook for illegal monopolization