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UK Considering ‘Australia-Style’ Legislation to Force Facebook to Pay for News Content

by Kurt Zindulka

The United Kingdom may follow the lead of Australia and Canada in forcing Facebook to pay news publishers for hosting their content, government officials have suggested.

A Downing Street spokesman said that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was “obviously concerned” about Facebook’s decision to censor news content on its platform in Australia, and may introduce legislation to take on Big Tech platforms “later this year”.

“We’re obviously concerned about access to news being restricted in Australia. As we always have done, we will be robust in defending free speech and journalism. We’re setting up a unit to promote competition in digital markets and ensure major tech companies cannot exploit dominant market positions,” the spokesman told The Times.

In an interview with Times Radio, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that Secretary for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden, was looking “very closely” at crafting legislation to regulate Silicon Valley companies in the UK.

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