Facebook has backed down. The social network announced, Tuesday, February 23, the lifting “In the coming days” blocking news content in Australia. Australian Finance Minister Josh Frydenberg and Facebook Australia Managing Director Will Easton said they had reached a compromise on one of the key points of the law to force tech giants to pay media for the takeover of their contents.
“With these changes, we can now work to continue our investment in public service journalism and restore Facebook news for Australians in the coming days.”, Mr. Easton said.
Last week, Facebook blocked the publication of links to news articles and media pages nationwide. Several official rescue service Facebook pages were also unintentionally affected. This retaliatory measure sparked outrage in Australia as well as many countries.
Google has found a partnership
The compromise means that the behemoths Facebook and Google – particularly targeted by this bill – should not be punished as long as they make deals with media outlets in exchange for the use of their content.
Google made an agreement with Rupert Murdoch’s media group, News Corp. – including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, The Times, The Sun, The Australian… The group agreed to pay “Significant sums” in return for the content of these press titles that will appear on its platform launched in 2020, News Showcase. This “Historic partnership”, under the terms of the two companies, will allow it to escape the forced arbitration provided for by the future law in the event of failure of negotiations with the media.