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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Dublin with the tech giant's global affairs vice president Nick Clegg. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images

Facebook announced Wednesday it plans to invest $1 billion to "support the news industry" over the next three years and admits it "erred on the side of over-enforcement" by banning news links in Australia.

Why it matters: Facebook is following in Google's footsteps, after last October the company pledged to pay publishers over $1 billion during the next three years to create and curate high-quality journalism for its Google News Showcase.

  • News outlets' push for Facebook and Google to pay for content on their platforms is garnering support in Australia and also Europe — notably in the U.K., where a lawmaker on a media committee described Facebook's move in Australia as "bully boy action."

Of note: The announcement comes days after the tech giant struck a deal with Australian lawmakers to pay local publishers for their news content over the government's new media code, ending Facebook's temporary ban on sharing news links on its platform in the country.

  • The law came into effect on Thursday morning local time, after the Australian government agreed to change some of the terms following the deal with Facebook.
  • Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said in a joint statement the code "will ensure that news media businesses are fairly remunerated for the content they generate, helping to sustain public interest journalism in Australia."
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper

Feb 23, 2021 - Technology

Facebook strikes last-minute deal with Australia around news content


Photo Illustration by Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook on Monday said it had struck a deal with Australian lawmakers to pay local publishers for their news content, after the government finally agreed to change some of the terms within its new media code.

Why it matters: The agreement ends Facebook's temporary ban on sharing news links on its platform in the country. Data showed that the link-sharing ban caused news traffic to plummet in the region.

Feb 24, 2021 - Technology

Scoop: DOJ, FTC briefing Hill on Google, Facebook suits

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission will brief the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee today on the antitrust cases against Google and Facebook, according to a memo seen by Axios.

What's happening: Staff for members of the antitrust subcommittee will be briefed by phone by the DOJ and FTC on the suits Wednesday afternoon.

  • On Thursday, the subcommittee is holding an hearing on competition and the "gatekeeper power" of dominant tech firms.

Congress focuses on cable providers' role in misinformation

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Congress' effort to squelch misinformation is broadening to target the cable companies that bring right-wing networks like Newsmax, OANN and Fox News to Americans' screens.

Why it matters: Conspiracy theories, false election claims, anti-vaccination propaganda and other kinds of misinformation spread through a complex ecosystem: Lies bubble up online, then get amplified when cable news channels repeat them, then spread further via social media. Breaking the cycle will require more than just stricter content moderation by online platforms.

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