Josh Frydenberg says there isn’t ‘any ability’ for Facebook to censor news under new code
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has played down concerns that Facebook will block Australian news outlets which are critical of the social media platform.
The social media giant has promised to restore news on the platform in Australia, after amendments were made to the federal government’s media bargaining code.
Mr Frydenberg says the new agreement reached between the government and Facebook came after “more than a dozen” calls between himself and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in recent weeks.
‘I think that reflects a focus within their company … on the significance of this code globally for them,” Mr Frydenberg told Neil Mitchell.
Under the new code, Mr Frydenberg says Facebook will be able to offer different deals to different publishers, or may show content from one publisher to more users than another, but the social media platform will not be able to censor publishers.
NEIL MITCHELL: “I know we don’t want them to (censor), but can they?”
JOSH FRYDENBERG: “Not under this code. This code is not providing any ability for them to go and censor.”
It comes after Facebook’s head of news partnerships, Campbell Brown, sparked concern with tweets suggesting the social media platform may censor publishers.
Going forward, 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.
— Campbell Brown (@campbell_brown) February 23, 2021
Australian news content is set to return to Facebook “in coming days”.
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