Canada vows to follow Australia in making Facebook pay for news content

Elias Hubbard
February 20, 2021

Canada, India, France and the United Kingdom are just a few of the countries Morrison pointed to as preparing to emulate Australia in its stand for democratic principles against monopolistic mayhem. "We want to work through this issue".

Morrison, for his part, underscored that the Australian government's stance is "very clear" and that "people would know the strong support being provided internationally for Australia's position".

Asked whether he expected to receive worldwide support from other nations following Facebook's controversial move, Morrison said he spoke to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday about the issue, among other world leaders including Canadian leader Justin Trudeau.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison during a press conference at Parliament House.

"I said to them on you can get an ad to me on your platforms in about two seconds but you're telling me you can't identify violent and extremist material and you can't get rid of it? And we discuss that a lot".

The law's implications on Australia's relations with major tech platforms are drawing attention from lawmakers in other countries who are mulling their own regulation measures.

Australia's Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Friday he had spoken with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and further talks were expected over the weekend.

Facebook's abrupt decision to stop Australians from sharing news on the site and strip the pages of domestic and foreign news outlets also erased several state government and emergency department accounts, causing widespread anger.

The social media giant had blocked all news articles from appearing in Australia in response to an upcoming law that would require Facebook and Google to pay news publishers for their content being shared on their platforms. "We called them out", Mr Morrison said.

The company has "tentatively friended us again", he quipped.

Facebook announced this week that it would curtail Australian publishers' abilities to share or post content on its pages and limit Australian users from viewing or sharing worldwide publishers' links and posts. No financial details were released.

In Spain, Google shut down its news website after a 2014 law required it to pay publishers, AP reports.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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