Facebook and the Australian government reached an agreement during the night (Monday to Tuesday) on the conduct of the news content on the platform. Under the agreement, it was decided, among other things, to activate an arbitration mechanism that will come into use as soon as the entities are unable to reach agreements on the prices of publishing the content. It was also decided that the social network would re-allow the upcoming hobbies Facebook would re-allow access to the news content.
As mentioned, both sides claimed victory in the conflict, which attracted much attention around the world, and even led a number of countries including Canada and the UK to consider taking similar steps in order to curb social networks and maintain media diversity. While some analysts have argued that Facebook is protecting its lucrative model, making money from clicking news, others have argued that the compromise in question – which includes a dispute resolution program – could pay off for the media industry, or at least publishers, and reach political reinforcement.
Australia and social media have come to a dead end last week after the government approved a law challenging the dominance of Facebook and Alphabet (Google) in the news field, and companies will have to pay news content makers for their use. In response, Facebook took a dramatic step, blocking all news content in Australia on 17 February, including government pages from the Ministry of Health and emergency content.
Australian Finance Minister Josh Friedenberg has announced that his country will change the bargaining code (an automatic code that sets a price according to supply and demand) but it will not be relevant to Facebook – at a level it will reach joint agreements with various media companies operating in Australia. Will Aston, CEO of Facebook Australia and Vice President of the company added: “We are delighted to have reached an agreement with the Government of Australia and appreciate the fruitful discussion.”
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