Facebook reinstates news content to Australian feeds

facebook news ban

• “We’ve reached a sol­ution and the way forward.”

Eight days after blocking Australian news content, Facebook has gone back on its decision and reinstated news to Australian feeds.

The decision comes after Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg came to an agreement on a number of amendments to the news media bargaining code – that passed parliament on Thursday morning – which was the catalyst for the news ban.

“I think there was understandable outrage across the broader community as to what Facebook did,” Josh Frydenberg said on Thursday night.

“Since that time, there’s been extensive discussions with the company and we’ve reached a sol­ution and the way forward.”

After coming to an agreement on Tuesday, Facebook said in a statement that it was “satisfied” with the government’s changes to the media code.

“[We] appreciate the constructive discussions we’ve had with Treasurer Frydenberg and Minister Fletcher over the past week,” it said.

“After further discussions, we are satisfied that the Australian government has agreed to a number of changes and guarantees that address our core concerns about allowing commercial deals that recognise the value our platform provides to publishers relative to the value we receive from them.

“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.”

Two other major tech companies that were going to be affected by the code, Microsoft and Google, have both already reached solutions of their own. Microsoft has been a major supporter of the code, and has even suggested that other countries should look to Australia for inspiration for their own laws.

Google on the other hand, have been a vocal critic of the code and has spent a lot of time in front of the senate committee arguing that the code would “break the internet.” They even went so far as to threaten to pull out of the country. Ultimately however, the Google News Showcase has been launched to operate under the amended code.

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