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Australian Prime Minister Morrison presses Facebook to lift news ban

Australian Prime Minister Morrison presses Facebook to lift news ban
© Getty Images

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is pushing Facebook to reverse its decision to restrict users in the country from sharing news content over a proposed law that would make the platform pay publishers for the content. 

“The idea of shutting down the sorts of sites they did yesterday, as some sort of threat — well, I know how Australians react to that and I thought that was not a good move on their part,” Morrison told reporters on Friday, according to The Associated Press. 

He urged the platform to negotiate. 

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“They should move quickly past that, come back to the table and we’ll sort it out,” Morrison reportedly said. 

Facebook on Wednesday said it would restrict Australian publishers from sharing or posting content on the platform’s pages and limit Australian users from viewing or sharing international publishers’ links and posts. 

The update followed warnings from Facebook about restricting content over a proposal in Australia that would force tech giants to pay news publishers for their content. 

The proposal would allow media companies to request payment from tech giants, and subject Google and Facebook to mandatory price arbitration if a deal could not be reached. 

Google and Facebook have both fiercely pushed back on the proposal. The bill passed Australia's House of Representatives on Wednesday and now must be approved by the Senate to become law. 

The same day Facebook announced its update restricting Australian users, Google seemed to soften its stance against the bill, confirming a deal was reached with News Corp for content. A few days before, Google had struck a deal with Australian-based Seven West Media for content.