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Government remains locked in talks with Facebook

Gareth Parker
Article image for Government remains locked in talks with Facebook

The federal government’s media reforms will be formally passed next week, as the stand-off with Facebook continues.

The tech giant is blocking access to Australian news organisations, arguing the new laws are unfair.

Facebook and Google will be forced to pay media companies for original content posted on their respective platforms.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told 6PR’s Gareth Parker he will be speaking to Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg again today.

“I am going to have a discussion with him later this morning and no doubt he will put to me some of his remaining concerns and issues with the code,” he said.

“Our resolve remains very firm, to legislate this media bargaining code and to see Australian public interest journalism protected and preserved.”

Yesterday the social media giant not only wiped news from media organisations pages, but important public service Facebook pages were also blocked.

“The fact that you couldn’t go and access sites that would give information about the vaccine rollout, or domestic violence support or about emergency services was really an overreach,” he said.

“They were heavy handed and I think they damaged Facebooks reputation here in Australia.”

Google have already struck deals with Nine Entertainment, Seven West Media and News Corp, which will see the search engine pay for journalism from news sites.

“That will see millions of dollars flow to Australian news media businesses, helping to sustain and protect public interest journalism in this country, and that is a world first,” Treasurer Frydenberg said.

“Those digital giants whether it’s Facebook or Google, actually get more traffic, get a better consumer experience by having access to this original news media content.”

Click play to hear the full interview. 

(Photo: Alex Ellinghausen/ Sydeny Morning Herald.) 

Gareth Parker