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US asks Australia to scrap proposed social media law

Washington expresses concern over forcing tech giants to pay for news, according to local media

Islamuddin Sajid   | 19.01.2021
US asks Australia to scrap proposed social media law


The United States has asked Australia to step back from its proposed law against Facebook and Google, local media reported on Tuesday.

In a letter from the Executive Office of the US President, Washington expressed concern over Canberra's move to force the two US firms to pay for news, according to ABC News.

"The US Government is concerned that an attempt, through legislation, to regulate the competitive positions of specific players … to the clear detriment of two US firms may result in harmful outcomes," said the US government in its letter.

In April last year, Australia had unveiled plans to force tech giants to pay news outlets for their content.

Earlier, treasurer Josh Frydenberg had said that by creating a mandatory code [law], Australia will be the first country in the world where these social media giants would require to pay for original news content.

However, later in September last year, Facebook threatened to stop users from sharing news content in Australia if the draft code becomes law.

According to the University of Canberra’s 2020 Digital News Report, 39% of Australians use Facebook for general news.

*Writing by Islamuddin Sajid

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