Tech

Facebook, Australia reach deal to restore news pages after shutdown

Facebook agreed to restore news pages on its site in Australia after it said late Monday that it had reached a favorable deal with the government there.

The deal, which came after 11th-hour negotiations and intense backlash against the company, would enable Facebook to run news without having to go through a government-run arbitration process, Facebook’s head of news partnerships, Campbell Brown, said in a statement.

Facebook last week blocked all news content and several state government and emergency department accounts. But after a series of talks between Frydenberg and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over the weekend, a concession deal has been struck. Australia will offer four amendments, which includes a change to the mandatory arbitration mechanism used when the tech giants cannot reach a deal with publishers over fair payment for displaying news content.

“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,” said Will Easton, managing director of Facebook Australia.

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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News is information about current events. News is provided through many different media: word of mouth, printing, postal systems, broadcasting, electronic communication, and also on the testimony of observers and witnesses to events. It is also used as a platform to manufacture opinion for the population.

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