Facebook will not allow publishers and users in Australia to share local and international news on Facebook and Instagram if the country passes a proposed code which is set to challenge Facebook and Google’s influence over online news, the company said in a blog post on Monday. Facebook said that despite numerous proposals to the Australian government, it was left with a choice of either removing news entirely or “accepting a system that lets publishers charge us for as much content as they want at a price with no clear limits”. “Unfortunately, no business can operate that way,” it added. Before this, Google had earlier warned users that the code would force it to provide users with deteriorated search results, and also put free services at risk in the country. Australia has put out a draft News Media Bargaining Code for consultation which forces platforms like Facebook and Google to pay Australian news companies for their content. The code also requires platforms to give news companies nearly a month’s notice of any changes to its algorithms which may affect referral traffic to news sites, or those affecting rankings of paywalled news, and “substantial changes” to how news is displayed, and even advertising of news. Google and Facebook would also have to provide data about user engagement on news content on their platforms. News revenue not substantial for Facebook, it claims: The proposed code is “unprecedented in its reach and seeks to regulate every aspect of how tech companies do business…
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