Facebook has reversed its ban on sharing news in Australia

Facebook has removed its news ban in Australia after coming to an agreement with the country’s government.

Last week Facebook implemented the ban after steps were made by the Australian government for Facebook to pay a tariff to media companies whose news links were shared on the platform.

This is because Facebook makes money from advertising, and news outlets felt that posts with their content mean they deserve a cut of the advertising revenue Facebook are making.

Rather than agree to make payments, Facebook instead starved its platform of news from the Australian region, which caused concern amongst the local population.

Many Australians get their news from social media, and banning all news also meant a block was put on public safety news, which during a global pandemic sparked ethical concerns about Facebook’s decision.

So far, the finer details of a financial agreement haven’t been made, but Facebook has entered into goodwill talks with the Australian government, and said it will allow Australian news to flow during the period of negotiations.

Even the Australian prime minister has had a hand in the talks with Facebook since the banning of the news last Thursday (18th of February).

At the time of writing this, apparently, the news has still not been readded to Facebook in Australia, but it’s confirmed to get turned back on sometime between now and the next few days.

What’s happening in Australia will have massive ramifications around the world, as this opens the door for other influential news and media companies to start adding a tariff for Facebook to use their content.

H/T: BBC News


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