AUSTRALIAN PM Claims Facebook Is Back In Negotiations After Executive’s Apology
Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, told reporters today (Saturday 20), that after having blocked news on its site this week, Facebook has “tentatively friended us again”, and is back at the table ready to negotiate.
This comes after Simon Milner, the Senior Facebook Asia-Pacific executive had been seen to apologise on Friday for the action, where Facebook had banned access to accounts run by Australian state health departments and government bodies.
But, despite Mr Morrison’s statement, Facebook has publically indicated that nothing has changed in its opposition to the proposed law requiring social media platforms to pay for links to news content.
The prime minister told reporters, “My job now is to ensure we get on with those discussions, that we bring them to a successful conclusion. The Australian government’s position is very clear, people would know the strong support being provided internationally for Australia’s position”.
He continued, “I’m pleased Facebook has decided, it would seem, to tentatively friend us again and get those discussions going again, to ensure that the protections we want to put in place to ensure we have a free and democratic society that is supported by an open news media can continue”.
Josh Frydenberg, the Australian treasurer, reportedly spoke with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on Friday morning to try and forge a solution, and to accept the media bargaining code, and it is said they will speak again over the weekend.
The treasurer said, “This is very much about Australia’s sovereignty, this is about Australia making laws for Australians, this is very much about the rules of the internet and the digital world replicating the rules of the physical world”.
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