• By The Financial District

AUSTRALIA SHUNS FACEBOOK BLACKOUT, COMMITS TO CONTENT LAW

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison vowed to press ahead with laws to force Facebook to pay news outlets for content, saying he had received support from world leaders after Facebook blacked out all media.

Facebook stripped the pages of domestic and foreign news outlets for Australians and blocked users of its platform from sharing any news content on Thursday, saying it had been left with no choice ahead of the new content laws, Reuters reported.


The move, which also erased several state government and emergency department accounts, as well as nonprofit charity sites, caused outrage. Morrison, who blasted Facebook on its own platform for “unfriending” Australia, said on Friday the leaders of Britain, Canada, France and India had shown support.


“There is a lot of world interest in what Australia is doing,” Morrison told reporters in Sydney. “That is why I invite ... Facebook to constructively engage because they know that what Australia will do here is likely to be followed by many other Western jurisdictions.”


The Australian law, which will force Facebook and Google to reach commercial deals with Australian publishers or face compulsory arbitration, has already been cleared by the federal lower house and is expected to be passed by the Senate within the next week.



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