Tue, 23 Feb, 2021

Facebook to end Australian news ban

Facebook to end Australian news ban

Facebook has announced it will be ending the disruptive ban on news in Australia, just six days after it was implemented.

The social media platform told the Australian government it would restore news pages "in the coming days" following amendments to the News Media and Digital Bargaining Code.

Australian news pages are currently blocked from sharing content and all users are banned from sharing links to Australian news sources.

The new changes to the code aim to provide "further clarity" to the proposed media code.

The new amendments must consider whether a digital platform (such as Facebook) "has made a significant contribution to the sustainability of the Australian news industry".

In a statement, Facebook's Australia and New Zealand Managing Director William Easton said the platform was "pleased" to have reached an agreement with the government.

"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," Mr Easton wrote.

"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."