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Albanese Government Stands Up for Local Journalism: Stephen Jones Warns Facebook Against Removing Australian News Content

The Australian government, through Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones, has expressed concern over Facebook's potential removal of news content from Australian feeds in the ongoing dispute over the news media bargaining code.
Jones considers such action "anti-democratic" and has pledged the government's support for local journalism, emphasizing the importance of news access on social media and fair compensation for outlets.

Social media platform Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has been under scrutiny for not paying news outlets for using their content.

In March, Meta announced it would not renew deals to pay for news in Australia and shut down its news tab there and in the US.

The company downplayed the significance of news on its platform, stating that less than 3% of Australian users engage with news content.

However, the federal government is considering designating Meta as a news media organization under the news media bargaining code, which would require the company to negotiate and pay for news content or face fines equal to 10% of its Australian revenue.

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young has called on the Australian government to regulate tech companies Meta, X, and TikTok under the Media Bargaining Code.

The code, which requires tech giants to pay news outlets for content, is currently being considered by Treasury and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Some news outlets have reportedly used revenue from deals with Facebook to boost their operations.

Senator Hanson-Young believes the inclusion of these additional tech companies would ensure a level playing field for all media organizations.

The government is still awaiting advice on how the expansion of the code would impact news outlets and the social platforms.
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