Facebook to publish news in Australia after controversy
Facebook announced on Tuesday that it will reinstate the publication of news in Australia after the Executive of Canberra agree to introduce technical changes in its controversial bill on the payment of technology platforms to the media for its journalistic content.
The war between Facebook and the Australian Government broke out on February 18, when the social network blocked publications from local media without prior notice, which also affected several public service portals.
(You may be interested: The tough bid between Australia and Facebook for news on the internet)
The bill, approved last week by the House of Representatives and under debate in the Senate, requires technology companies to reach an agreement with the media to remunerate them for the creation of news according to the monetization of the links published in the platform.
The social network explained in a statement that it agreed with the Australian government “a series of changes and guarantees”, which It will allow him to continue investing “in public interest journalism and re-establishing news on Facebook for Australians in the coming days.”
(Also: Why did Facebook block news from the media in Australia?)
For its part, Canberra indicated that “Facebook has agreed to negotiate in good faith with the Australian media to reach agreements to pay for its content.”
Since last week, on the social network in Australia media pages are grayed out without any content and with a warning that nothing has been posted to that account, while any attempt to share a journalistic link generates a notice that explains that Facebook has restricted the publication of Australian news in response to the bill.
The code maintains its key measures, that is, it is a mandatory code. A leading code in the world
The ordeal of Facebook, which caused a strong unrest among local media, activists, politicians and users, has resulted in a series of technical amendments to the bill on the payment of digital platforms to the media that aim to “give clarity” to the parties.
The changes, as explained by the Government, will take into account whether the digital platform has made “a significant contribution to the sustainability of the Australian information news industry” by having signed commercial agreements with media companies.
(Also read: Microsoft supports search engines paying for news)
The intervention of an arbitration court that would establish the amount to be paid if there is no commercial agreement between the platforms and the media – one of the points of the project that caused the most irritation to Facebook and Google- will now be “the last resort”, as explained by the head of the Treasury office, Josh Frydenmberg when detailing the amendments.
In a triumphant statement in Canberra, Frydenberg expressed his conviction that “Many other countries are watching what is happening here in Australia, due to this innovative code”.
“The code maintains its key measures, that is, it is a mandatory code. A world-leading code,” said Frydenberg, flanked by Communications Minister Paul Fletcher.
(We recommend reading: Twitter is thinking of charging a subscription for some functions)
For the Media, Arts and Entertainment Union of Australia (MEAA), the government should support small journalistic organizations, which could be excluded from agreements with technology platforms.
“They will be left at the mercy of Facebook and Google, who have sought to avoid mandatory regulations and will instead choose which media companies to reach agreements with,” said MEAA President Marcus Strm.
Facebook’s first deal
Facebook, which was not explicit in its two statements about the commitment to pay the media, signed a letter of intent with the Seven West Media group, owners of Channel 7, to provide journalistic content.
The president of Seven West Media, Kerry Stokes, highlighted in a statement Tuesday that this new partnership with Facebook, the first of a medium with the social network, “it is a significant step for our business”, although he did not reveal the amount.
Last week several media, including Seven West Media, signed letters of intent with Google to provide journalistic content for the search engine’s news section similar to those reached in other countries, although the details of the payments are not known either.
You may also be interested in:
– These are the 10 most visited websites in the world
– The money Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos earn when they sleep
– Learn to use the hidden functions that Facebook Messenger has