New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Australian government on Tuesday announced that social media giant Facebook has agreed to lift its ban on Australians sharing news after a deal was struck on legislation that would make digital giants pay for journalism.

Australia and the social media group have been locked in a standoff for more than a week after the government introduced legislation that challenged Facebook and Alphabet Inc's Google's dominance in the news content market. Facebook last week blocked all news content and several state government and emergency department accounts.

But after a series of talks between Australian government officials and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over the weekend, a concession deal has been struck. Australia will offer four amendments, including the mechanism for final offer arbitration, which a Facebook executive said was a sticking point for the company.

"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 recognise the value our platform provides to publishers relative to the value we receive from them," Facebook said in a statement.

The issue has been widely watched internationally as other countries including Canada and Britain considering similar legislation. Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chair Rod Sims, the main architect of the law, was not immediately available for comment. At a speech earlier on Tuesday, Sims declined to answer questions about the standoff on the grounds that it was before parliament.

Meanwhile, changes to media rules proposed by Australia will allow Facebook Inc to choose if news remains on the platform and support the publishers it chooses, Campbell Brown, the firm's vice-president of global news partnerships said on Tuesday.

In a blog post, Brown said after discussions with the Australian government, the social media giant would be restoring Australian news on Facebook in the coming days. "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," Brown added.

 

(With Agency Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan