The dispute on paying news organisations for sharing journalism content came to a head last week, when Facebook banned Australians from sharing news articles. Inadvertently, some government pages and announcements, including alerts on COVID-19, were blocked too, drawing severe backlash.
The Australian government’s landmark media bargaining laws, also being called ‘the code’, is yet to be passed in its Parliament. Government Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who has held detailed discussions with Zuckerberg, on Tuesday said, “Facebook has re-friended Australia. News will be restored to the Facebook platform, and it has committed to entering into good-faith negotiations with Australian news media businesses and seeking to reach agreements to pay for content.”
Google is also expected to follow the media bargaining code. Google and Facebook can avoid the code if they can satisfy the government that enough deals with news organisations have been struck outside it.“It has been a difficult process, but these are really important issues. Facebook is now going to engage in good faith negotiations with the commercial players,” he said. In a statement, Facebook said it was “pleased” the company was able to reach an agreement with the Australian government.