/ 19 February 2021

Media code set to land today

On the Senate’s agenda today – the Treasury Laws Amendment (News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code) Bill 2021 – aka the thing that saw Facebook crack it last week and block Aussie users from posting or sharing news on the platform. Discussions were ongoing over the weekend with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg back in touch with the czar of all that he surveys Mark Zuckerberg. “Constructive” was the theme, Frydenberg said. Not feeling so generous was Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, who has instructed his office and department to post information about the vaccination program on the platform – but not to pay for those messages to be boosted. On Friday, Facebook’s veep of public policy for Asia-Pacific Simon Milner apologised for the glitches and wouldn’t rule out a return of news for Aussie users, but he said the onus was on the government to resolve the standoff over the code.

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