Facebook users in Australia can share news links again

Facebook says it will restore the ability of Australian users to share links to news articles following a new agreement with the local government.

The agreement, which gives Facebook and Canberra another two months to negotiate, ends an almost week-long period during which Facebook users in Australia could not access or share news on the platform.

Facebook had limited news sharing in response to impending legislation that would have required it to let an independent judge determine how much compensation it had to give publishers to link to their stories. Users could not share links or access news stories from Australian or global stores.

The new deal includes changes that give Facebook greater control over how it compensates publishers. “Going forward, the government has made it clear that we will retain the ability to determine if news appears on Facebook so that we will not automatically be subject to forced negotiations,” said Campbell Brown, Facebook’s head of news partnerships at Facebook. a statement.

“The current arrangements allow for greater flexibility for digital platforms and now encourage publishers to reach commercial agreements rather than compete for arbitration,” Facebook spokesman Adam Isserlis told NBC News. “Arbitration is a last resort.”

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Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the amendments “will strengthen the hand of regional and small publishers in obtaining adequate compensation for the use of their content by digital platforms.”

Facebook’s handling of the situation is different from Google’s. The search giant recently announced several million dollar agreements with Australian publishers to avoid violating the imminent legislation.

Google also said last week that it had reached a three-year deal with News Corp to pay them for their content globally, not just in Australia.

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