Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (right) and Communications Secretary Paul Fletcher in the Senate Courtyard in the Parliament Building in Canberra, Australia, on February 23, 2021.


Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (right) and Communications Secretary Paul Fletcher in the Senate Courtyard in the Parliament Building in Canberra, Australia, on February 23, 2021.
Photo: Sam mooy (Getty Images)


According to Australian chief financial officer Josh Frydenberg and Facebook representatives, Facebook will allow users in Australia to re-read and share news on the social media platform, following talks with the Australian government. Who winked first? It seems that this is a matter of interpretation.

Facebook previously blocked all news posts on the site for the past five days in retaliation for a proposed Australian law that would force major tech companies to share their profits with news publishers, called Media Code. Google also planned to block calling in Australia through the proposed Code;tin under negotiation.

Both sides declared victory in the war, Facebook will no longer be subject to forced negotiations with broadcasters to pay for the news, and politicians said they were satisfied with Facebook’s “forward talks” with Australian news creators such as Seven West Media and Seven TV network.

“Facebook has become friends with Australia again.Australian news will be uploaded back to the Facebook platform,Frydenberg to journalists in the capital Canberra open Tuesday. “Facebook has committed to enter into bona fide negotiations with the Australian news media business to reach agreements to pay for content. “

“I have no doubt that many other countries are looking at what is happening here in Australia. due to this innovative Cpay [Prime Minister Scott] The Morrison’s government is after it now, so Facebook and Google didn’t hide the fact that they knew the eyes of the world were in Australia. Onethat’s why they wanted to get a Code can be applied here, “he said Frydenberg.

But Facebook positions this as a win for the social media giant, naturally it sounds like the government blinked first.

Facebook’s vice president of Global News Partnerships, Campbell Brown, told Gizmodo via email: “After further discussion with the Australian government, we have reached an agreement that will allow us to support our selected publishers, including small and local broadcasters.” .

“We’re bringing back news from Facebook in Australia in the coming days. Going forward, the government has announced that we will preserve our ability to decide whether the news will appear on Facebook so that we do not automatically be subject to a forced negotiation.

“It has always been our intention to support journalism in Australia and around the world, and we will continue to invest in news globally and resist efforts by media groups to develop regulatory frameworks that do not take into account the true exchange of value between publishers and platforms like Facebook,” Brown said.

Facebook did not provide detailed information on how quickly the news pages would be restored, but a test by Gizmodo revealed that users still could not post news. Anyone attempting to post a link to a news site says, “In response to Australian government law, Facebook restricts the publication of news links and all posts from Australian news pages. Globally, posting and sharing of news links from Australian broadcasts is restricted.”


Image for Facebook Pledge to Allow Users to Repost News in Australia After Negotiations with the Government


Screenshot: Facebook / Gizmodo

Frydenberg’s office published a Tuesday’s blog post To go into more detail about what changes Facebook made to the Media Code that would better suit their interests:

  • The decision to specify a platform under the Rules must consider whether a digital platform makes a significant contribution to the sustainability of the Australian news industry by reaching commercial deals with news media businesses;
  • a digital platform will be notified of the Government’s intention to appoint before any final decision – it will be noted that the final decision on whether to identify a digital platform will be made within less than a month from the date of notification;
  • Commercial agreements will not be triggered by non-differentiation provisions, as they result in different wage amounts or commercial results that arise during normal business practices; and
  • Final bid arbitration is the last resort where commercial agreements cannot be reached, requiring good faith mediation to take place before the arbitration for no more than two months.

Not a bad job for the Australian government. They wanted the moon and got half. The question is whether this deal really helps publishers in Australia, or whether the money goes only to guys like Rupert Murdoch and his media empire.

Murdoch was the main driving force behind Media Code, so we can probably bet who will actually benefit from this new program. But good for you. Way to earn one for the little guy. Or the slightly smaller guy.