Facebook bans people viewing or sharing news in Australia

Google to pay Murdoch's News Corporation for stories

"Last year Facebook generated approximately 5.1 billion free referrals to Australian publishers worth an estimated AU$407 million", he posted.

Editor's note: Facebook, Google and Microsoft are among NPR's financial supporters. In 2019, Facebook announced deals to pay some publishers to share stories inside a dedicated news section of its main app. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the plan at an event in NY with News Corp.'s Thomson.

"In to Australia's proposed new Media Bargaining law, Facebook will restrict from sharing or viewing Australian and worldwide news content", wrote William Easton, managing director of Facebook Australia & New Zealand in a blog post.

On Thursday Facebook implemented its ban on Australians sharing or viewing news.

Google's about-face is exactly what Australia was hoping for: The new legislation specifically allows media companies to individually or collectively make deals with content scrapers like Google and Facebook.

Facebook and Google have vigorously fought the proposed legislation in Australia and have publicly threatened to pull out of the country over the effort to compensate news organizations.

"We want to assure the millions of Australians using Facebook to connect with friends and family, grow their businesses and join Groups to help support their local communities, that these services will not change".

Australia's Treasurer Josh Frydenberg confirmed earlier Wednesday that state-owned Australian Broadcasting Corp.is also in negotiations and plans to spend any Google revenue on regional journalism.

"He raised a few remaining issues with the Government's news media bargaining code and we agreed to continue our conversation to try to find a pathway forward".

Junkee editorial director Rob Stott says the publisher is disappointed by the move from Facebook.

Despite amendments along the way, the Code has been branded by Google and Facebook as "unworkable" in its current form, and saw Google threaten to remove its search services from Australia entirely should it be adopted.

Facebook on Wednesday announced it would restrict Australians from accessing news articles on its platform.

The two companies are still at loggerheads over a controversial proposed new law in Mr Murdoch's home country of Australia, which would require internet platforms pay big media firms whenever links to publishers' stories appeared in search results or other services.

We also tested this with USA satire site, The Onion, and its posts were also no longer visible for Australians.

Kerry Stokes, chairman of Seven West Media, which owns 21 publications, said the threat of the proposed code had made the deal possible.

It's unclear what will happen when Facebook is suddenly absent of news in Australia.

News Corp. launched a site called Knewz.com past year as an alternative to Google search, in hopes that it would become the new way readers sought out journalism.

In the coming weeks, Mr. Guilbeault is planning to introduce legislation that will create a new regulator to oversee how social-media platforms deal with content such as hate speech.

Australian news organisations, many of which reach large local audiences through Facebook, are reeling at the development. There's already speculation that other countries are eyeing Australia and may one day make similar plays.

Google's recent deals with Nine and Seven West Media give it greater control over the terms, compared with the forced arbitration proposed by Australia.



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