Facebook will stop blocking news sites in Australia within days. This decision comes after the Australian government promised to make some changes to the News Media Bargaining Code, which Facebook had pushed for.
Facebook has informed the Australian government that within days it will again allow users in the country to share links to news sites. The lifting of the blockade is the result of an agreement that the social network has reached with the government of Australia, according to a statement by the ministers of Finance and Communications reported by Australian media such as ABC .
In that statement, Facebook is delighted with the ‘constructive discussions’ it has had with ministers: “We are pleased that the Australian government has agreed to a number of changes regarding our main concerns about commercial deals that recognize the value of our platform for publishers, in proportion to the value we receive from them. ”
According to ministers, Facebook CEO Marc Zuckerberg has promised that his company will enter into agreements with publishers. One of the changes to the News Media Bargaining Code is that arbitration is called a last resort if a commercial deal cannot be reached. Facebook and Google are against this arbitration, as it can lead to a binding decision if publishers and the platforms do not agree.
Facebook decided last week that Australian users could no longer share links to news on its platform. News also no longer appeared in feeds and news media could no longer post messages. This decision was in response to the country’s code of conduct that requires Facebook and Google to pay news publishers for using their content. Google has already made agreements with media companies after it first threatened to shut down its search engine in the country.