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Fri, 26 Feb, 2021

We’re back!

We’re back!

Facebook has finally removed the ban on news and other information sites in Australia, restoring hundreds of pages in an instant.

The ban included local sites, such as ABC and The Guardian but also included international pages such as The Wall Street Journal and CNN.

The ban lasted eight days and caught attention worldwide, but was lifted one day after the Australian Government passed its news media bargaining code, according to The Daily Telegraph.

The code included amendments discussed in talks between Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook removed news content in response to the federal media bargaining code as it aims to force internet giants to pay news publishers for generating content that the websites host.

Facebook's global affairs vice-president Nick Clegg argued that Facebook had no choice but to remove all news content from the platform to evade Australia's news code.

Mr Clegg said executives felt they had only two responses to laws drafted by Australia’s competition watchdog: agree to “open-ended subsidies … or remove news from our platform in Australia”.

“It wasn’t a decision taken lightly,” he said.

“But when it came, we had to take action quickly because it was legally necessary to do so before the new law came into force, and so we erred on the side of over-enforcement.

“In doing so, some content was blocked inadvertently. Much of this was, thankfully, reversed quickly.”