The company has been told that it can decide whether news appears on the site at all, and also been assured it will not be forced to negotiate with news publishers.
In other words, the news media code — officially known as the News Media and Digital Platforms Bargaining Code — will not apply to Mark Zuckerberg's company if it so chooses.
But now every other nation knows FB ain’t bluffing when it says it will cut news. Also they’re not minor concessions at all.— Greg Jericho (@GrogsGamut) February 23, 2021
Several news outlets, which are government backers have been busy pumping up the tyres for both Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Prime Minister Scott Morrison who have caved in and used words to paint a picture that is, as usual, somewhat different from the reality.
And yet the front page of every paper will be GLORIOUS SCOMO BEATS TECH GIANTS— Stop touching your face, Bondles (@Bondles) February 23, 2021
Facebook's vice-president of Global News Partnerships, Campbell Brown, did not mince her words about what the company had been told.
In a statement issued a little while ago, Brown said: ”After further discussions with the Australian Government, we have come to an agreement that will allow us to support the publishers we choose to, including small and local publishers.
But.... but... the Govt were saying that FB would fold because they were unpopular!!— Chazinator (@Chazinator2) February 23, 2021
"We’re restoring news on Facebook in Australia in the coming days. Going forward, the government has clarified we will retain the ability to decide if news appears on Facebook so that we won’t automatically be subject to a forced negotiation.
"It’s always been our intention to support journalism in Australia and around the world, and we’ll continue to invest in news globally and resist efforts by media conglomerates to advance regulatory frameworks that do not take account of the true value exchange between publishers and platforms like Facebook.”
Josh always had them where he wanted them. No getting past young Josh when he's on a roll. He showed FB and Google who was boss. He learned well from Hockey.— Dermot (@Dermot1955) February 23, 2021
It also appears that there have been assurances given to Google outside the Code about the way it could operate in Australia in the future. In Facebook's case, an Explanatory Memorandum will be issued to make things clear in pollie speak.
If this is world-leading legislation, then I'd hate to see what poor-quality legislation looks like. If this is a world first, then lead me to the deal that is last in the world. If this is victory, then please give me defeat.