Australia: No changes to news media law after Facebook fallout
UPDATED 5:00 PM PT – Monday, February 22, 2021
Australia took a hardline stance on Facebook after the company attempted to cancel news and government agencies in the country.
On Monday, leaders of the Australian Parliament said there will be no changes to the proposed law, which would make social media companies pay for news content. The decision blocked any possibility to negotiate better terms for U.S.-based tech giants.
Last week, Facebook briefly banned a number of Australian media and state agencies, while Google opened talks to keep doing business as usual. Australian officials said Big Tech bias has gone too far.
“Look, I’ll let legal minds go over those issues. My focus though is to get this issue resolved, positively, to ensure that the protections that we want to put in place,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said. “To ensure that we have a free and democratic society here that supported by an open news media can continue, that’s a very important part of who we are.”
A final vote on the bill is slated for Tuesday.