30 November 2021 20:28

Facebook is back! Australian government makes media code amendments

Last week, in a shocking move, Facebook blocked all news on its platform in Australia.

This also inadvertently blocked information and government pages.

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The Australian government has strongly criticised the move on the grounds that it demonstrated the “immense market power of these digital social giants.”

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On Tuesday, Australia’s Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, announced a compromise had been reached with Facebook.

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Will Easton, Facebook’s Australian managing director, confirmed this news in a blog post.

“We’re pleased that we’ve been able to reach an agreement with the Australian government and appreciate the constructive discussions we’ve had with treasurer Frydenberg and minister Fletcher over the past week.” 

Treasurer Frydenberg told media that Australia had been a “proxy battle” for the rest of the world.

“I have no doubt that so many other countries are looking at what is happening here in Australia, because of this innovative code the Morrison government is now pursuing, so Facebook and Google have not hidden the fact that they know that the eyes of the world are on Australia, and that is why they have sought to get a code here that is workable.”

Facebook said it helped Australian publishers earn about A$407m last year.

Australia’s law would require payment for the sharing and posting of news links on Facebook.

However, the Australian government has also agreed that Facebook would be subject to the code would be given a month’s notice to comply.

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Last week, the Australian and Indian Prime Ministers talked ahead of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad.

They tweeted to work together on common challenges like Covid 19, the circular economy, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific as comprehensive strategic partners.

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