SAN FRANCISCO – Facebook announced Monday that it had signed a contract with the Australian government that would allow users and publishers in the country to re-share and display links to news articles on the social network.
Facebook was blocked last week sharing or displaying news links in Australia as the country should pass a law requiring technology companies to negotiate with media publishers and compensate them for the content that appears on their websites.
The legislation includes a code of conduct that enables media companies to negotiate the value of their news content individually or jointly with digital platforms.
On Monday, the Australian government added changes to the proposed code. This included a two-month mediation period, which gave both sides more time to negotiate Trade deals that could help Facebook avoid having to operate by the terms of the Code.
In return, Facebook agreed to restore news links and articles for Australian users “in the coming days,” according to Josh Frydenberg, Australian treasurer, and Paul Fletcher, minister for communications, infrastructure, cities and the arts.
“It is important that the changes strengthen the hand of regional and small publishers in obtaining adequate remuneration for the use of their content by the digital platforms,” the statement added.
Campbell Brown, Facebook’s vice president of global news partnerships, said in a statement: “We will be restoring news on Facebook in Australia in the coming days. Going forward, the government has made it clear that we can still decide whether news appear on Facebook for us not automatically be subject to a forced negotiation. “
Mike Isaac reported from San Francisco and Damien Cave from Sydney, Australia.
This is a developing story and will be updated.