A VITAL victory for the media has been won in Australia after Facebook was ordered to pay news outlets for sharing their content.

It’s a ruling that could be repeated world wide.

The social media giant has now backed down after initially banning all news content down under out of protest.

After admitting defeat, bosses are said to be in talks with several media giants to reach agreements – and it’s about time! 

For years, Facebook has been leeching off – and effectively killing – the media by using its content without paying for it. 

It has seen local journalism suffer, while national newspapers have been forced to resort to clickbait headlines and other tricks to get readers directly to their websites. 

While Google was also named in the case, the search giant has at least been more willing to address the problem.

As well as negotiating with publishers in Australia, it last year gave awards to the best media groups around the world, including the Olive Press, one of a small handful in Spain to win a special grant for our outstanding journalism. 

Facebook, on the other hand, ignored our requests for aid, despite paying lip-service to helping regional newspapers during the harsh COVID crisis.

But it has had no problem in allowing racists to spread fake news content and conspiracy theories for YEARS.

Just look at how a whole generation of people have been brainwashed by the QAnon cult – a lot of its content widely shared on Facebook.

Readers often complain of clickbait headlines and so-called ‘churnalism’, but often don’t realise that it’s thanks to plummeting media sales and the fact that everyone expects news for free that standards have been falling. 

If newspapers were paid their dues there would be more money and time available to invest in better quality stories and more importantly more journalists. 

Let’s hope Facebook, which pays practically no tax, is forced to cough up all over the world and, in turn, this leads to an upturn in the quality of global news.

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