Facebook finally agrees on Monday to allow the Australian users to view and share news on their feed after the government changes the “drafted law.” Recently, there was a huge dispute between Facebook and the Australian government due to a bill made by the government.
As per the “drafted bill,” Facebook and Google will have to pay the publishers to show their news content and share it on the social media platform. Facebook highly objected to the law and even warned the government for making changes to it.
Even Google warned about banning the use of the search engine in the country. However, Google started making deals with media companies in a few days. It made deals with News Corp, The Financial Times, and Reuters.
Besides that, there was a term called “final arbitration” in the law, which Facebook highly opposed. As per the term, if the publisher and the social media platform cannot agree to immediate payment, then an independent arbiter, which can be anyone, will determine the payment, and both parties will have to agree. The independent arbiter, in this case, would be someone from the Australian government.
When the Australian government did not pay heed to the warnings, Facebook banned publishers and news pages from showing any local and international news to Australian users. The damage that it did showed up in few hours. Australian users’ feed is filled with rumors and false news, which created havoc in the country. After seeing the damage, the government finally made some law changes, to which the tech giant agreed.
As per the new law, the tech giant and the publishers will have a time period of two months, allowing them to discuss the payment before entering the “final arbitration.” Due to this change, both parties will now have enough time to discuss the payment charges.
Besides that, the law even stated that if any digital platform has contributed to the Australian news industry, they can completely avoid the code. When asked about this law, an Australian government member stated that it was made to help the regional and small publishers to make enough money for their content and get recognition.
When asked about the changes, the Australian Facebook director, William Easton, said that the tech giant was satisfied with the changes and will adhere to them. He went on further to comment that the tech giant “core concerns about allowing commercial deals that recognize the value our platform provides to publishers relative to the value we receive from them.”
The vice president of Facebook, Campbell Brown, stated that the “government has clarified we will retain the ability to decide if news appears on Facebook so that we won’t automatically be subject to a forced negotiation.”
When Facebook banned news links in Australia, many small publishers, news pages, and freelancers were affected. The tech giant blocked all the sources that provided any kind of news, irrespective of the fact that the page was a news page or not. However, after the changes were made, the tech giant has finally allowed news to flow through the country. But, the social media platform still holds to the “banning of news links” strong. If the government makes some more changes, that will not be in favor of the company.
Facebook will soon restore the news links in the coming days, and we hope that the Australian users come out of the dark phase of false news and rumors. Meanwhile, we also hope that there are no more changes in the law and the tension between the government and the giant tech decreases.
Image Source: TechCrunch