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Facebook reverses ban on news pages in Australia

News

Facebook has announced it will restore news content to its users in Australia.

The tech giant has blocked news to Australians on its platform since last Thursday amid a dispute over a proposed law that would force it and Google to pay news publishers for content.

Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg had told him the ban would end “in the coming days”, after the pair had talked.

Mr. Frydenberg said amendments would be made to the law.

“Facebook has re-friended Australia,” he told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.

The government has been debating the law – seen as a possible test case for regulation globally – in the Senate, after it was passed in the lower house last week.

Why did Facebook block news content?

Last Thursday, Australians woke up to find they could not access or share any news stories on their accounts.

Facebook argued it had been forced to block Australian news in response to the proposed legislation.

The government’s news code aims to set up a “fairer” negotiation process between the tech giants and news companies over the value of news content.

  • What happened after Facebook blocked news in Australia?
  • Facebook blocks news content in Australia

But it has been strongly opposed by Facebook and Google – both argue the code misunderstands how the internet works. Facebook has also said it gets little commercial gain from news content.

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