Facebook Doubles Down On Australian Bill

Issue 59

02.22.21 - A new bill, which is expected to pass this week, has been gaining momentum in Australia that would require tech giants to pay publishers and media organizations for the use of articles on their platforms and networks.

Although the tech giants initially fought the bill tooth and nail, companies like Google have taken a diplomatic approach since then and have already begun to strike deals with publishers for the use of their articles and content. Facebook, on the other hand, has chosen a much more hardline approach.

Hours after Google recently struck a deal with News Corp, Facebook announced that it was restricting users from sharing or viewing news links in Australia. The move went into effect immediately after the news was reported.

“The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content,” William Easton, managing director of Facebook Australia and New Zealand, said in a statement released on the Australian legislation.

Australia’s Communication Minister, Paul Fletcher, has stated that the government intends on moving forward with the legislation and will continue to have discussions with Facebook after expressing concerns over the credibility of the influential platform if it does not cooperate and praised Google for engaging with the process.

Source: New York Times