Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Facebook is back in negotiations with the government after the tech platform decided to restrict users in Australia from sharing news content.
“What I am pleased about is that Facebook is back on the table. And that’s what we want to see, ”Morrison said at a news conference Saturday morning local time. “We want to solve this problem. So I welcome the fact that they have worked with the government again, as they should. “
The company “tentatively made us friends again,” he joked.
The comments mark the latest development in an exchange between Sydney and Facebook about a proposed law that would make the platform pay publishers for content.
Facebook announced this week that it would restrict Australian publishers’ ability to share or post content on their pages and limit Australian users from viewing or sharing links and posts from international publishers.
Morrison spoke out against the proposal and urged Facebook to reverse its decision.
“The idea of shutting down the kind of sites they did yesterday, kind of a threat, well, I know how Australians react to that and I thought it wasn’t a good move on their part,” Morrison said Friday.
“Those actions were completely indefensible,” he added on Saturday.
The implications of the law on Australia’s relations with major technology platforms are drawing the attention of lawmakers in other countries who are mulling over their own regulatory measures.
While Facebook took a tough stance against the law, Google struck deals with Australia-based News Corp and Seven West Media for the content.