Update on Facebook Ban of Australian News

2021-03-20 by Julio Juarez
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A ban was announced this year on Australian news stories being viewed or shared on the social media platform Facebook. This came after the Australian government drafted a law that would force tech giants Facebook and Google to pay for Australian news and journalism.

How the Social Media Giant Will Move Forward

Facebook announced this week that they will lift a controversial ban on viewing and sharing of Australian news stories on their platform. Facebook has struck an agreement with the Australian government this month that will make the online giant pay for using Australian journalism. This comes as a huge win for the Australian government who prior to the agreement objected to the platforms publishing Australian news. The main reason for the objection was the financial impact publishing news stories on social media can have on traditional journalism.

Google Accepts Agreement

In the initial move by Facebook, the company attempted to block Australians from viewing or posting any news on the platform. There was also a plan for a complete blackout cutting Australian access to government, public health, pandemic, and emergency services sites from the platform. This was also the case for search engine giant Google. Google had also threatened a blackout of search functions to Australians, but both threats have been dropped. With the eyes of the world currently set on Australia, the tech giants know that what happens there will likely be the precedent that is set across the globe. It was in the best interest of the companies to find a code and a system that works (referencing the News Media Bargaining Code that Australia passed last week.)

Facebook has announced that Australian news stories will be restored on the platform in the coming days. The social media giant has also announced that it would now negotiate deals with Australian publishers. This is happening while Google has been signing up some of the largest media companies in Australia for content licensing deals through News Showcase.