Facebook has agreed to lift its ban on Australians sharing news after an agreement was made on legislation that would make the digital giants pay for journalism.
Facebook’s move last week to ban Australian news organizations from posting content on the platform and barring users based in Australia from linking to news articles from Australian and international outlets had been labeled as an “attack on democracy” in an open letter from dozens of prominent charities, media, and campaign groups around the world.
A spokesperson for the UK Government had said they were concerned by Facebook’s actions and officials planned to hold talks with the social media giant.
Since the disagreement, a deal has been reached and the Australian government treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Facebook have since confirmed they had reached an agreement on amendments to proposed legislation that would make the social network and Google pay for news they feature.
Mr. Frydenberg and communications minister, Paul Fletcher said in a statement: “The government has been advised by Facebook that it intends to restore Australian news pages in the coming days.”
Facebook’s head of global news partnerships, Campbell Brown, said in a statement: “Going forward, the government has clarified we will retain the ability to decide if news appears on Facebook so that we won’t automatically be subject to a forced negotiation.”
Frydenberg said Australia’s fight with Facebook had been a “proxy battle for the world,” as other countries ponder similar measures. Nobody is sure how Australia’s new law, once enacted, will work in practice.