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People can now share news on Facebook in Australia again

Facebook made a new deal to allow people in Australia to share news articles again

This Feb. 19, 2014, file photo shows the Facebook app icon on an iPhone in New York. Facebook is pushing back on Apple’s new privacy rules for iOS users — and putting app developers in the middle.
This Feb. 19, 2014, file photo shows the Facebook app icon on an iPhone in New York. Facebook said on Monday it would allow people in Australia to share and view news links again.
Karly Domb Sadof, Associated Press

Facebook said on Monday it would allow people in Australia to share and view news links again. It negotiated a new deal with the country that would require people to pay for news that appears on the social network, The New York Times reports.

Flashback

Facebook had blocked news links in Australia after a new law in Australia passed that would ask Google and Facebook to pay for news to appear on the feed, NPR reports.

  • If Facebook or Google couldn’t reach a specific price, a third party would have to broker a deal.
  • Google agreed to the terms.

But Facebook removed news content from its news feed in Australia. As CNET reports, multiple news outlets’ pages went blank within the country because of Facebook’s decision.

What’s new?

Australia “relented to the pressure and agreed to changes to some of the terms within its new media code,” according to NPR.

Specifically, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Australia’s treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, had multiple discussions over the matter and put an end to the standoff with Facebook agreeing to bring news back to the platform, according to CNET.

What’s being said

  • Campbell Brown, Facebook’s vice president of news, said in a statement (via NPR), “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.”
  • Australia’s government said it would add a new amendment that “must take into account whether a digital platform has made a significant contribution to the sustainability of the Australian news industry through reaching commercial agreements with news media businesses.”

What’s next

Facebook now hopes that it would invest in local journalism and continue to spread news across the network, per CNET.

  • “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,” Facebook’s Brown said.