CARL AZUZ, cnn 10 ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Carl Azuz for cnn 10. It looks like a standoff between the Facebook technology company and the nation of Australia is coming to an end. What happened between them is our first story this Wednesday. Last week, Facebook suddenly prevented Australians from finding or sharing news on the social media platform.
This included links and articles for local and international news and it appeared to be the most restrictive step Facebook has ever taken against publishers of information. At first, Facebook's dramatic block included some fire and emergency services, health agencies, politicians and charities that help victims of violence. The company said these pages were unintentionally affected by its news block and that it would restore them.
But why did Facebook stop news sharing in the first place? It all has to do with a disagreement between technology companies and news companies. These two sides both benefit from news that's posted online. Tech companies like Facebook and Google get reliable news content to help fill in their search results and feeds.
News companies benefit when people visit their sites after clicking on stories posted through Facebook and Google. But for years, news producers have said that tech companies take unfair advantage of them using news content but not giving the owners of that content much in return. The Australian government got involved in this.
It's considering a new law that will require tech companies to pay news companies for their articles and video instead of distributing that content for free. That's why Facebook decided to shutdown news in Australia. It fiercely opposes this legislation.
Australian officials say Facebook's move was heavy handed, unnecessary and that it came without warning. And the nation's prime minister said that big tech companies think they're bigger than governments and that the rules shouldn't apply to them. Facebook said it does not steal news but that publishers choose to share their stories on the social media platform. It was concerned that if Australia passed a law that required it to pay for news content, other countries would too.
Facebook was also worried that it would be forced to pay for news content that people randomly shared on its platform. Content that Facebook itself had nothing to do with. So what changed in the standoff? The company said this week that the Australian government would allow Facebook to keep control over what news information appears on its site. Facebook will also get more time to work out deals with news publishers so it won't be immediately required to start paying them for content. The tech company now says it will restore news sharing in Australia.
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