Facebook News Back to Australia as the Big Tech Strikes a Deal

PM Scott Morrison also hinted towards negotiating a deal a few days back, backing the proposed legislation which is yet to be approved by the Senate

Facebook refriends Australia
Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/stockcatalog/

After Facebook did the controversial ban on news content in Australia, attracting global attention, the Tech Giant and Morrison Administration struck a last-ditch deal. On Tuesday, Facebook news came back to Australia with its support to journalism. Australian News will be restored to the Facebook platform, and Facebook has committed to enter into good faith agreements with Australian news media businesses in seeking to reach agreements to pay for content, said Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’.

There has been an international debate after Facebook barred Australian users from viewing or sharing any news content on social media account. Also, many publishers’ pages were blocked from being viewed anywhere in the world.

Tech World War of Facebook and Australia Garnered International Debate

Facebook censored Australia, some people even condemned the action, saying Facebook is claiming itself as a sovereign state and is clashing with another sovereign entity. Treasurer Frydenberg also said that the Morrison governments’ position is very clear. They want the digital giants to pay the traditional news media businesses for generating the original journalistic content. The action by Facebook already had some reverberations around the world. Britain and Canada also signaled that they are behind Australia’s fight with Facebook. And also, they’d like to go down a similar path. The chair of the British media Committee has called Facebook’s action ‘bully boy tactics’.

Australian and Facebook

Facebook and Google to Pay News Media Outlets as Per New Australian Code

The Australian government is set to pass a new media law that will require digital platforms like Facebook, Google to pay for news. The law will make digital platforms pay local media outlets and publishers to link their content in news feeds or search results.

Google managed to find a work-around. They came up with a compromise, and they made individual deals with the media companies to pay them for their content on some of their different products.

Talks are on among the international community, including European Union, America, Canada, England, France, Germany, and Australia, on regulating these tech Giants, especially Google and Facebook, and putting them in an appropriate framework.

Facebook and the Australian Government take a step towards mediation
Facebook And Google
Regulations for Google & Facebook. Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that the government introduced last-minute changes to the proposed law, which gives the companies two months to mediate commercial deals. He said that they have agreed to make some clarifications to the code. When it comes to the designation process by the treasurer of a particular platform, a one-month notice period will be put in place. The treasurer will also take into account not just the unequal bargaining position between the digital platform and the Australian news media businesses but also the commercial deals. That is being put in place, and also that digital platform’s commitment to supporting in public internet journalism in Australia.

He also said that the Big Tech Giants’ behavior last week of cutting off new for Australians, was regrettable and he expressed that very directly to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg himself. They expressed that the government was disappointed in what and why they took that kind of action. They were not given any advance notice of the barring decision.

Mark Zuckerberg FAcebook
Image: Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg. Image: Facebook
Global Tech Giants vs. Government: Who runs the world?

Before the internet, Media companies and newspapers made money by selling copies of papers and selling advertising. However, things changed gradually for Australia’s media industry as in many other parts of the world. According to reports, 120 newsrooms in Australia have been closed since Jan 2019.  Google and Facebook are so dominant that for every $100 advertising revenue, Google gets $53, FB gets $28, and the remaining $19 has to be shared among the media houses.

In its stand-off with the Australian government, Facebook has hit the nuclear button, when it blanked out Australian news pages on Facebook, even barring the official health and charity pages that are significant. It is yet to be seen how much power these digital giants possess to influence the governments.


AvatarI write stories & news based on Politics, Religion, Health & Lifestyle, Culture, and Technology & Science. I aim to update my readers with the latest news in and around the globe and also familiarize them with the ancient facts and mysteries that surround us. I also love to read, travel, and spend time with my kids.

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