Facebook has agreed to restore news pages in Australia days after being restricted.
Days after Facebook was restricted by the Australian government the decision has quickly been reversed. The social media platform had pulled all their news pages down because the Australian government passed a new media law that will require digital platforms to pay for news.
Facebook released an updated statement and wrote:
“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 recognize 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,” the company said.
The new law was passed in parliament last December and was meant to be implemented however Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government made a few last-minute changes.
Which changes are to be expected?
The law proposed that the social media platforms that use news links will have have pay the local media outlets and publishers that own the news.
Under the amendments to the proposed bill, the Australian government will take into account commercial agreements that digital platforms like Google and Facebook have already made with local news media businesses before deciding if the code applies to the tech giants. The government will also give the digital platforms one month’s notice before reaching the final decision.
It will also include a two-month mediation period to allow digital platforms and publishers to broker deals before they are made to enter arbitration as a last resort.
Last week, the company said Australian users would not be able to view or share news content while international users would not be able to access Australian news content on its platform. The move faced backlash from politicians as well as users, after important government health and emergency pages on Facebook were blocked.