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Australia: Facebook restores the ability to share news content

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Posted on Feb 23, 2019 2021 at 7:45Updated Feb 23, 2019 2021 at 7:46

End of the standoff between Facebook and the Australian government. The American company announced on Tuesday the lifting “in the coming days” of the blocking of news content in Australia, the government having agreed to amend the law aimed at forcing the tech giants to pay the media for the resumption of their content.

Australian Finance Minister Josh Frydenberg and Facebook Australia Managing Director Will Easton said they had found a compromise on one of the key points of this text to which the US giants of the sector are fiercely opposed. “With these changes, we can now work to continue our investment in public service journalism and restore Facebook news to Australians in the days ahead,” said Will Easton.

Indignation

Last week, Facebook blocked the publication of links to news articles and media pages nationwide. The blockage did not only concern the media, but also – unintentionally – hundreds of other organizations, including health authorities in some Australian states, the Bureau of Meteorology and the firefighters of Western Australia, while fires of forests are currently ravaging part of this state. This retaliatory measure had sparked outrage in Australia as well as in many countries.

The compromise means that the behemoths Facebook and Google – particularly targeted by this bill – should not be punished as long as they make deals with media outlets in exchange for the use of their content. In France, an agreement of this type was reached in January between the Alliance of the general information press (Apig) and Google so that the latter pays better the daily press, as well as certain magazine titles.

AFP source

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