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France 24

Facebook blocks messages in Australia to protest the revenue-sharing law

Facebook Inc is preventing news content on its newsfeed from being read and shared in Australia, and is drawing a line in the sand against proposed Australian law requiring it and Google from Alphabet Inc to pay the country's news publishers for content. The move, announced in a blog post on Wednesday, represents a divergent response from the big tech giants to demands from news publishers who blamed the companies for the destruction of their advertising business. Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg said he had a "constructive discussion". Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg added Thursday that talks with the company on the proposed media payments law would continue. "(Zuckerberg) raised some remaining issues with the government news media negotiating code and we agreed to continue our conversation to try and find a way forward," Frydenberg said in a tweet. The Australian federal government has announced that it will bring legislation to a vote in the coming year, effectively forcing Google and Facebook to do business with media companies or set fees for them. Google has also threatened to shut down its search engine in the country to avoid "impractical" content laws, despite contracting with publishers on Wednesday, Google scored with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, owner of the Wall Street Journal and two-thirds of Australia's major City Newspapers, a major global contract with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, Germany, France, Brazil and Argentina. Facebook said the proposed legislation "fundamentally misunderstands" the relationship between itself and publishers, arguing that news outlets are voluntarily posting their article links on Facebook, which helped Australian publishers make about AU $ 407 million by 2020 recommendations. Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School, tweeted Wednesday that the relationship wasn't as voluntary as it seems, and most publishers feel obliged to be on Facebook for a long time due to their dominance criticized for allowing misinformation to flourish on its platforms, and is now in a special position by also blocking the news media that have been fact-checking for false content: "Nobody benefits from this decision as Facebook is now a platform for the rapid spread of misinformation will be unbalanced, "said a spokesman for Nine, an Australian television station. "This action again proves their monopoly and their unreasonable behavior." As of Wednesday, Australian users will not be able to read or share news content on Facebook news feeds, and Australian news publishers will not be allowed to post or share content on Facebook Pages. (REUTERS)