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Matt Hancock agrees with countries forcing Facebook to pay for news

Facebook has already pulled out its news content in Australia after politicians forced tech businesses to pay for using news.

Matt Hancock has confirmed he agrees with those countries that are asking tech giants, such as Facebook, to pay for the news content they use on their feed.

Hancock agrees with making Facebook pay

The health secretary has said to be a ‘great admirer’ of the countries asking tech giants to pay for journalism. Facebook had already pulled out its news content in Australia after politicians had forced tech businesses to pay for using news. MPs in Australia want tech giants to sign paid-for-news agreements with media companies creating a News Media Bargaining Code.

Matt Hancock was asked whether he agrees with Australia’s vision on tech businesses paying for news content and he confirmed he is a ‘great admirer’. Hancock said: “I have very strong views on this… All I can say is that I’m a great admirer of Australia and Canada. I think this is a very important matter and I’ve got no doubt the culture secretary will be looking at it very closely.”

Government sources have said ministers are ‘consulting’ over this topic and in the meantime Culture secretary Oliver Dowden will meet with Facebook’s executives this week.

MP Julian Knight, who is the chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, has commented: “Facebook has shown its absolute disregard for the public interest, being all too ready to use its power to further its own agenda… The DCMS Committee is deeply concerned that trusted news sources are promoted, to combat the scourge of misinformation and will be ensuring the Online Harms legislation is tough enough on this.”

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