Facebook announced Thursday it has blocked Australians from viewing and sharing news on the platform because of proposed laws in the country to make digital giants pay for journalism.

Australian publishers can continue to publish news content on Facebook, but links and posts can’t be viewed or shared by Australian audiences, the U.S.-based company said in a statement.

Australian users cannot share Australian or international news.

International users outside Australia also cannot share Australian news.

“The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content,” Facebook regional managing director William Easton said.

“It has left us facing a stark choice: attempt to comply with a law that ignores the realities of this relationship, or stop allowing news content on our services in Australia. With a heavy heart, we are choosing the latter,” Easton added.

The announcement comes a day after Treasurer Josh Frydenberg described as “very promising” negotiations between Facebook and Google with Australian media companies.

Frydenberg said after weekend talks with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Alphabet Inc. and its subsidiary Google, he was convinced that the platforms “do want to enter into these commercial arrangements.”

Frydenberg said he had had a “a constructive discussion” with Zuckerberg after Facebook blocked Australian news.

“He raised a few remaining issues with the Government’s news media bargaining code and we agreed to continue our conversation to try to find a pathway forward,” Frydenberg tweeted.

But communications Minister Paul Fletcher said the government would not back down on its legislative agenda.

“This announcement from Facebook, if they were to maintain this position, of course would call into question the credibility of the platform in terms of the news on it,” Fletcher told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

“Effectively Facebook is saying to Australians information that you see on our platforms does not come from organizations that have editorial policies or fact-checking processes or journalists who are paid to do the work they do,” Fletcher added.

The Australian Parliament is debating proposed laws that would make the two platforms strike deals to pay for Australian news.

The Senate will consider the draft laws after they were passed by the House of Representatives late Wednesday.

Both platforms have condemned the proposed laws an unworkable. Google has also threatened to remove its search engine from the country.

But Google is striking pay deals with Australian news media companies under its own News Showcase model.

Seven West Media on Monday became the largest Australian news media business to strike a deal with Google to pay for journalism.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. has since announced a wide-ranging deal.

Rival Nine Entertainment is reportedly close to its own pact and ABC is also in negotiations.

News plays a larger part in Google’s business model than it does in Facebook.

Easton said the public would ask why the platforms were responding differently to the proposed law that would create an arbitration panel to set a price for news in cases where the platforms and news businesses failed to agree.

“The answer is because our platforms have fundamentally different relationships with news,” Easton said.

Peter Lewis, director of the Australia Institute’s Center for Responsible Technology think tank, said Facebook’s decision “will make it a weaker social network.”

“Facebook actions mean the company’s failures in privacy, disinformation, and data protection will require a bigger push for stronger government regulation,” Lewis said. “Without fact-based news to anchor it, Facebook will become little more than cute cats and conspiracy theories.”

 News Corp revealed a three-year deal with Google for “significant payments” to provide premium news from some of the world’s best known premium titles.

Commercial terms haven’t been revealed but the agreement is the result of a long campaign by News Corp founder Rupert Murdoch and his son and co-chair Lachlan and News Corp CEO Robert Thomson.

Thomson says the agreement will have “a positive impact on journalism around the globe as we have firmly established that there should be a premium for premium journalism".

The deal comes as the Australian parliament is about to pass a law requiring global digital platforms Google and Facebook to pay publishers for using their news.

In Australia, Seven West Media has announced a deal with Google, reported to be for $30 million a year, and Nine Entertainment is said to be close to an agreement.

The News Corp deal will be the biggest in terms of money. Google recently paid $US76 million to French publishers over a copyright dispute.

Among the News Corp publications joining Google News Showcase are Australian titles including The Australian and in the US The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, MarketWatch, and the New York Post, and in the UK, The Times and The Sunday Times, and The Sun.

The agreement also includes the development of a subscription platform, the sharing of ad revenue via Google's ad technology services, the cultivation of audio journalism and meaningful investments in innovative video journalism by YouTube.

“I would like to thank Sundar Pichai and his team at Google who have shown a thoughtful commitment to journalism that will resonate in every country," says Thomson.

"This has been a passionate cause for our company for well over a decade and I am gratified that the terms of trade are changing, not just for News Corp, but for every publisher.

“The deal simply would not have been possible without the fervent, unstinting support of Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, and the News Corp Board.

"For many years, we were accused of tilting at tech windmills, but what was a solitary campaign, a quixotic quest, has become a movement, and both journalism and society will be enhanced.

“Particular thanks are certainly due to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Rod Sims and his able team, along with the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who have stood firm for their country and for journalism.” 

News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller says this has always been about securing the future of journalism for the benefit of the people it serves and not about individual companies.

“Former Senator Nick Xenophon and Senator Stirling Griff were instrumental in having Australia adopt a world first, highly innovative policy approach," he says.

“Their work has charted a path that will benefit all journalism-based organisations in Australia.

"This is an important moment for our company, but an even more important moment for journalism and the people it serves, no matter how they consume news.”

Miller says this agreement will provide some confidence in an industry that has been buffeted by many challenges in recent years."

“The future of commercial news organisations rests on their ability to establish workable business models in the digital era,” he says.

“We will continue to invest in journalism and the skills needed to tell stories in new and evolving ways across our communities, and for a digital future.”