Facebook Set To Restore News Pages “In The Coming Days”

APRIL 8, 2018: Phone sitting on laptop with Facebook desktop site reflecting on screen. The social media giant's stock has dipped sharply since the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
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The government has revealed Facebook will be restoring news services in Australia, less than a week after the much-publicised boycott.

In a release on Tuesday afternoon, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg revealed: “the Government has been advised by Facebook that it intends to restore Australian news pages in the coming days”.

The decision for Facebook to back down comes as the government agrees to a number of changes in the legislation.

These include:

  • final offer arbitration as a last resort
  • non-differentiation provisions will not be triggered because commercial agreements resulted in different remuneration amounts or commercial outcomes
  • any decision to designate a platform under the code will take into consideration any contribution the platform has made to journalism

“The Morrison Government will today introduce further amendments to the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code,” Frydenberg’s office said.

“These amendments will provide further clarity to digital platforms and news media businesses about the way the Code is intended to operate and strengthen the framework for ensuring news media businesses are fairly remunerated. These amendments will make it clear that.”

You can read Facebook’s statement in full below:

“We’re pleased that we’ve been able to reach an agreement with the Australian government and appreciate the constructive discussions we’ve had with Treasurer Frydenberg and Minister Fletcher over the past week. We have consistently supported a framework that would encourage innovation and collaboration between online platforms and publishers. 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 recognize the value our platform provides to publishers relative to the value we receive from them. 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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