Facebook switches news back on in Australia

Facebook switched news back on for users in Australia on Friday, ending a one-week blackout.

The day before, Australia's parliament passed a law forcing big tech to pay local media companies for using their content.

Canada and other counties have said they're interested in similar reforms.

That was after a standoff over the law between Facebook and the government over the past week and the company's drastic step to block news from being read and shared on its platform.

Facebook as well as fellow tech giant Google both campaigned against the law, arguing it was unworkable.

A number of concessions were struck to appease them the law now gives more time for tech firms to strike a deal with media before the government steps in - and forces them to pay up.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison celebrated the law on Friday.

"Global tech giants, they are changing the world but we can't let them run the world."

It makes Australia the first nation where a government can set the price Facebook and Google pay for news and other content, if private negotiations fail.

Though some Australians, like architect Andrew Benn, weren't impressed with Facebook's tactics over the last week.

"My perception of them has really deteriorated, so I would be actively not seeking out using Facebook now I think, I found it that frustrating what they did."

After news earlier this week Facebook had struck deals with major TV networks in Australia on Friday it said it had also signed agreements with three smaller publishers.

Schwartz Media, Solstice Media and Private Media all own a mix of weekly newspapers and online magazines though Facebook didn't disclose any prices.

The non-binding agreements ease some fears smaller publishers would be left out of profitable Facebook deals.

Video Transcript

- Facebook switched news back on for Australian users on Friday, ending a one-week blackout. The day before, Australia's parliament passed a law forcing big tech to pay local media companies for using their content. Canada and other countries have said they're interested in similar reforms. That was after a standoff over the law between Facebook and the government over the past week, and the company's drastic step to block news from being read and shared on its platform.

Facebook, as well as fellow tech giant Google, both campaigned against the law, arguing it was unworkable. A number of concessions were struck to appease them. The law now gives more time for tech firms to strike a deal with media companies before the government steps in and forces them to pay up. Prime Minister Scott Morrison celebrated the law on Friday.

SCOTT MORRISON: Global tech giants, you know, they're changing the world, but we can't let them run the world.

- It makes Australia the first nation where a government can set the price Facebook and Google pay for news and other content if private negotiations fail. Though some Australians, like architect Andrew Benn, weren't impressed with Facebook's tactics over the last week.

ANDREW BENN: My perception of them has really deteriorated. So I would be actively not seeking out using Facebook now, I think. I found that sort of frustrating what they did.

- After news earlier this week that Facebook had struck deals with major TV networks in Australia, on Friday it said it had also signed agreements with three smaller publishers, Schwartz Media, Solstice Media, and Private Media all own a mix of weekly newspapers and online magazines, though Facebook didn't disclose any prices. The non-binding agreements ease some fears that smaller publishers would be left out of profitable Facebook deals.