(Sydney) Mark Zuckerberg, president of Facebook, spoke to the Australian government on Friday about the bill that seeks to force tech giants to pay media outlets for their content.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison insisted that his country had no intention of yielding to “threats”.
As of Thursday, Australians can no longer post links to news articles or refer to the Facebook pages of Australian media who are no longer able to share their content.
Australian Finance Minister Josh Freidenberg said he spoke with Mark Zuckerberg on Friday. Negotiations will continue at the end of this week.
“We have discussed the outstanding issues and have agreed that our teams will address them immediately,” Friedenberg said on Twitter.
The Prime Minister indicated at a press conference in Sydney that this blocking of Facebook constituted a “threat”.
Morrison said: “This is not a good decision on their part and they have to quickly bypass it and return to the negotiating table.”
The ban is a response to a bill that would force Facebook and Google to push Australian media outlets to take back their content.
For the prime minister, this bill, which will be debated in the Senate on Monday, is under close scrutiny by many leaders around the world.
He said he spoke about it Thursday during a phone interview with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“It’s a lot of interest,” he said.
For its part, Facebook appears to be sticking to its position, believing that this provision is not applicable and that the social network has no other choice but to place such restrictions.
Since it went into effect Thursday, the number of people viewing Australian media sites at home and abroad has decreased, with outbound traffic dropping by more than 20% per day, according to an analysis of Chartbeat data.
However, netizens don’t seem to have left Facebook to Google, which doesn’t seem to have registered an increase in its traffic.
The ban angered Canberra, especially as it affected many of the official rescue services Facebook pages. Most of them worked again after a few hours.
Google also threatened to suspend its search engine in Australia before backing down on Wednesday by agreeing to pay “big sums” for content from the News Corp. By Rupert Murdoch.
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