Facebook Strikes Deal To Restore News Sharing In Australia

SAN FRANCISCO – Facebook said Monday that it had reached an agreement with the Australian government that would allow users and publishers in the country to re-share and view links to news articles on the social network.

Last week, Facebook had blocked the sharing or display of news links in Australia because the country was passing a law requiring tech companies to negotiate with media publishers and compensate them for content that appears on their sites.

The legislation includes a code of conduct that would allow media companies to negotiate individually or collectively with digital platforms about the value of their news content.

But on Monday, the Australian government added amendments to the proposed code. That included a two-month mediation period, giving the two parties more time to negotiate. trade deals that could help Facebook avoid having to work under the code.

In return, Facebook agreed to restore links to news and articles for Australian users “in the next few days,” according to a statement from Josh Frydenberg, Australian Treasurer, and Paul Fletcher, Minister of Communications, Infrastructure, Cities and Art.

“It is important to note that the amendments will strengthen the hand of regional and small publishers to obtain adequate remuneration for the use of their content by digital platforms,” ​​the statement added.

Campbell Brown, vice president of global news partnerships at Facebook, said in a statement: “We are restoring news to Facebook in Australia in the coming days. Going forward, the government has clarified that we will retain the ability to decide whether the news appears on Facebook so that we are not automatically subject to forced negotiation. “

Mike Isaac reported from San Francisco and Damien Cave from Sydney, Australia.

This is a story in development and will be updated.

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