Your Stories Around The World

Headlines Today!

Scott Morrison said Facebook is ‘back at the table’

after tech giant makes grovelling apology

0

Facebook has apologised for accidentally banning pages belonging to charities and emergency services when it stopped Australians from viewing or sharing news.

[mycbgenie_banner_ad banner_size="728x90" kws="automatic" hide_footer="0" tracking_id=""]

Prime Minister Scott Morrison responded by saying he’s glad Facebook is ‘back at the table’ for discussions over the Australian government’s media bargaining code, jesting the US tech giant has ‘tentatively friended us again’.

Senior Facebook Asia-Pacific executive Simon Milner said sorry on Friday after the company accidentally banned access to accounts run by government bodies and state health departments.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured on February 19) said Facebook has 'tentatively friended us again' after the company apologised on Friday for accidentally banning pages that aren't news

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured on February 19) said Facebook has ‘tentatively friended us again’ after the company apologised on Friday for accidentally banning pages that aren’t news

Mr Morrison said the government was in talks with the tech giant over its proposed media bargaining code, and that they are 'back at the table' in discussions. Pictured: Vice-president of public policy for the Asia-Pacific region Simon Milner

Mr Morrison said the government was in talks with the tech giant over its proposed media bargaining code, and that they are ‘back at the table’ in discussions. Pictured: Vice-president of public policy for the Asia-Pacific region Simon Milner

However the company shows no sign of backing down after banning access to news and information pages across Australia in response to the code. Pictured: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

However the company shows no sign of backing down after banning access to news and information pages across Australia in response to the code. Pictured: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

‘This is a really hard thing to do. We’ve never done it before. We are sorry for the mistakes we made in some of the implementation,’ Mr Milner told the Sydney Morning Herald.

‘There’s still some pages that we’re looking at but some of it’s really difficult in that the law isn’t clear and therefore there may be some pages that were clearly not news but actually under the law they might be.

‘That’s one of the challenges for us. We’re sorry for the mistakes that we made on that front.’

Mr Morrison has said the tech giant has rejoined discussions over the proposed media code

 Mr Morrison has said the tech giant has rejoined discussions over the proposed media code

Scott Morrison on Saturday said he welcomed Mr Milner’s apology, adding that Facebook’s closure of the public information accounts was indefensible.

‘My job now is to ensure we get on with those discussions, that we bring them to a successful conclusion,’ Mr Morrison said. 

‘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.’

Facebook initially claimed it had no choice but to shut health and emergency services pages down, arguing the bargaining code was poorly worded, but later said it would reverse bans on pages inadvertently impacted.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Friday he remained determined to convince Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to accept the code.

The pair spoke on Friday morning and will talk again over the weekend.

The US social media behemoth first threatened to ban news for Australians in August and repeated the ultimatum before a Senate inquiry in January.

Senior Facebook Asia-Pacific executive Simon Milner said sorry after the company accidentally banned access to accounts run by government bodies and state health departments. Pictured: Mr Milner (centre) answering questions about hate crime in the House of Commons, London

Senior Facebook Asia-Pacific executive Simon Milner said sorry after the company accidentally banned access to accounts run by government bodies and state health departments. Pictured: Mr Milner (centre) answering questions about hate crime in the House of Commons, London

Facebook initially claimed it had no choice but to shut health and emergency services pages down, arguing the bargaining code was poorly worded, but later said it would reverse bans on pages inadvertently impacted. Pictured: Mr Milner on video link talking to a Senate Inquiry

Facebook initially claimed it had no choice but to shut health and emergency services pages down, arguing the bargaining code was poorly worded, but later said it would reverse bans on pages inadvertently impacted. Pictured: Mr Milner on video link talking to a Senate Inquiry

The ban restricts Australian users and publishers from viewing or sharing news, and overseas users will be unable to access Australian news.

‘We talked through their remaining issues and agreed our respective teams would work through them immediately,’ Mr Frydenberg said.

‘I reiterated Australia remains committed to implementing the code.

‘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.’

Facebook could be prosecuted for 'unconscionable conduct' in Australia for its decision to wipe the pages of Australian businesses and charities. Pictured: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook could be prosecuted for ‘unconscionable conduct’ in Australia for its decision to wipe the pages of Australian businesses and charities. Pictured: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (pictured) wants the tech giants to pay news organisations

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (pictured) wants the tech giants to pay news organisations

Mr Frydenberg also called on other nations to back Australia in its quest to force digital giants to pay for locally-produced news.

Mr Morrison said the leaders of India, Canada and the United Kingdom were keenly watching Facebook’s reaction to the media code.

The media bargaining code is before the Senate after clearing the lower house.

It is likely to clear parliament with bipartisan support, despite Labor criticising the government for its handling of negotiations with digital platforms.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said Facebook needed to accept media companies should be paid for content to keep journalism alive, and said the company’s ban on news content would damage their reputation.

At a parliamentary inquiry hearing on Friday, both News Corp executive chair Michael Miller and Nine chief executive Hugh Marks called on the government to stick to its plan to legislate the media bargaining code.

Mr Miller said the full impact of Facebook’s bans was yet to be understood.

The US State Department said on Saturday that it considered Australia’s dispute with Facebook a private business matter for the two parties.

What does the draft code say?

The code seeks to address the fundamental bargaining power imbalance between Australian news media businesses and major digital platforms.

This imbalance has resulted in news media businesses accepting less favourable terms for the inclusion of news on digital platform services than they would otherwise agree to.

The draft code would allow news media businesses to bargain individually or collectively with Google and Facebook over payment for the inclusion of news on their services.

The code also includes a set of ‘minimum standards’ for:

  • Providing advance notice of changes to algorithmic ranking and presentation of news;
  • Appropriately recognising original news content; and
  • Providing information about how and when Google and Facebook make available user data collected through users’ interactions with news content.

 

[mycbgenie_text_ad kws="automatic" show_product_descr="1" default_font_family="1" fill_color="ffffff" link_color="0000ff" border_color="dddddd" rows=1" cols="3" descr_color="000000" hide_footer="0" tracking_id=""]
Source Source link
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More