Facebook announced Tuesday that it would lift a ban on Australians viewing and sharing news on its platform after it struck a deal with the government on proposed legislation that would make digital giants pay for journalism. “Facebook and Google have not hidden the fact that they know that the eyes of the world are on Australia, and that is why they have sought to get a code here that is workable,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said. This week, Microsoft and four European publishing groups announced they would work together to push for Australian-style rules for news payments from tech platforms. Changes would give digital platforms one month’s notice before they are formally designated under the code.
A statement Tuesday by Campbell Brown, Facebook’s vice president for news partnerships, added that the deal allows the company to choose which publishers it will support, including small and local ones. Facebook said it would now negotiate deals with Australian publishers.A European publishers’ lobbying group that is among those teaming up with Microsoft said the deal shows such legislation is possible, and not just in Australia.