Facebook Reverses Australia News Ban, Vows to ‘Invest in News Globally’

Ban was in response to proposed media bargaining law

Alexander Koerner / Getty Images

Following international backlash, Facebook has reversed its decision to ban Australian users from sharing news and will restore the function “in the coming day,” the company said Monday.

After a week long standoff over a proposed law that saw even one of the company’s former CEOs calling for a boycott, Facebook appears to have conceded fully. A statement from Campbell Brown, Facebook’s head of Global News Partnerships, indicates the Australian government made no concessions to restore local news to Facebook’s feed.

“After further discussions with the Australian government, we have come to an agreement that will allow us to support the publishers we choose to, including small and local publishers,” Brown said in the statement first reported by CNBC contributor Alex Kantrowitz.

“We’re restoring news on Facebook in Australia in the coming days. Going forward, the government has clarified we will retain the ability to decide if news appears on Facebook so that we won’t automatically be subject to a forced negotiation. It’s always been our intention to support journalism in Australia and around the world, and we’ll continue to invest in news globally, and resist efforts my media conglomerates to advance regulatory frameworks that do not take account of the true value exchange between publishers and platforms like Facebook,” the statement continued. ”

Last week, Facebook announced it would block the sharing and viewing of news articles in Australia in response to the country’s proposed news media bargaining law, which if passed would require media outlets be compensated when their reporting is shared on social media.

Soon after, Stephen Schiller, former CEO of Facebook Australia and New Zealand, told people to delete Facebook and essentially called Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg out for prioritizing greed over ethics. “I’m sad for Facebook in a way, but if you wanted a glaring example of why Facebook needs more regulation, this is it,” he said in part.


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