Australia escalates conflict with Facebook and stops ads

The dispute between the Australian government and the Internet giant Facebook is escalating. The government will withdraw planned ads on Facebook, Australian Finance Minister Simon Birmingham told Radio National on Monday.

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The loss of revenue for Facebook could amount to 10.5 million Australian dollars - about 6.8 million euros - per year, broadcaster ABC reported.

Facebook had blocked news pages on its platform for Australian users on Thursday (Werbewoche.ch reported). Facebook users have since been unable to share national or international journalistic content. In doing so, the company is opposing a bill by the Australian government that would in future force Google and Facebook to pay local media companies if they distribute their content. Australia wants to achieve a fairer distribution of advertising revenues.

Birmingham called the blocking of the news sites "inappropriate" and accused Facebook of trying to influence "democratic systems." "We will not tolerate this." He added that the government would not deviate from its proposed legislation.

Germany is also facing a reform of its copyright law. This involves the implementation of an EU directive that was adopted in the summer of 2019 and is to be implemented by June. The German government stresses that the draft law provides for a fair balance of interests that benefits creators, rights users and users alike. But there is also resistance. However, the draft is less radical and the debate more moderate than in Australia. (SDA)

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