Facebook to restore Australia news service | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 24, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:58 AM, February 24, 2021

Facebook to restore Australia news service

Agrees to pay media companies after changes to media laws

Facebook yesterday said it will lift a contentious ban on Australian news and pay local media companies for content, after a last-gasp deal on pending landmark legislation. 

Australia's Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced a face-saving compromise that will see Google and Facebook plunge tens of millions of dollars into the struggling local news sector.

In return the US digital firms will, for now, avoid being subjected to mandatory payments that could cost them vastly more and create what they see as an alarming global precedent.

Just hours after the compromise was unveiled, Facebook announced its first proposed deal with an Australian media company, Seven West, and was said to be pursuing commercial deals with other local news organisations. The company is expected to use the content to launch a dedicated news product in Australia later this year.

The social media firm sparked global outrage last week by blacking out news for its Australian users in protest at the proposed legislation, and inadvertently blocking a series of non-news Facebook pages linked to everything from cancer charities to emergency response services.

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