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Facebook Set To Reverse News Ban For Australian Users In The 'Coming Days'

Facebook Set To Reverse News Ban For Australian Users In The 'Coming Days'

Facebook has told the Australian government it is planning to restore news to Aussie users in the 'coming days'.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the proposed media bargaining code legislation will have several amendments added.

While those will be up for debate between politicians and the social media company, Facebook said it will let people soak up all the news there is to offer in the meantime.

It's unclear how long it will take for news to be restored, but the good thing is that it will return soon.

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The four amendments are the following:

  • a decision to designate a platform under the Code must take into account whether a digital platform has made a significant contribution to the sustainability of the Australian news industry through reaching commercial agreements with news media businesses;
  • a digital platform will be notified of the Government's intention to designate prior to any final decision - noting that a final decision on whether or not to designate a digital platform would be made no sooner than one month from the date of notification;
  • non-differentiation provisions will not be triggered because commercial agreements resulted in different remuneration amounts or commercial outcomes that arose in the course of usual business practices; and
  • final offer arbitration is a last resort where commercial deals cannot be reached by requiring mediation, in good faith, to occur prior to arbitration for no longer than two months.

Mr Frydenberg's statement said: "These amendments also add further impetus for parties to engage in commercial negotiations outside the Code - a central feature of the framework that the Government is putting in place to foster more sustainable public interest journalism in Australia.

"The Government has been advised by Facebook that it intends to restore Australian news pages in the coming days."

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Facebook appears to be happy with this update and is happy to come back to the bargaining table with the Australian government.

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The company's Australia and New Zealand Managing Director William Easton said it was a big step forward in the negotiations.

"After further discussions, we are satisfied that the Australian government has agreed to a number of changes and guarantees that address our core concerns about allowing commercial deals that recognise the value our platform provides to publishers relative to the value we receive from them," Mr Easton wrote.

"As a result of these changes, we can now work to further our investment in public interest journalism and restore news on Facebook for Australians in the coming days."

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Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Australia

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Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.