Meta threatens to remove US news content if new law passes
According to Meta, there won’t be any news on Facebook in the US anymore.
It opposes a new regulation that would give media companies more clout when negotiating prices for content shared on Facebook.
A similar law that was enacted in Australia last year caused a temporary halt to news on Facebook.
According to Meta, its technology helps struggling news companies increase visitors.
According to the report, publishers share their content on Facebook because “it improves their financial line.”
The legislation, officially known as the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), was filed in Congress by Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar. It enjoys cross-party support.
Publishers and broadcasters would make more money if they could negotiate with social media companies for a larger share of the ad revenue.
Media organisations assert that news articles published on Meta generate tremendous revenue.
Local news in particular struggled during the pandemic, whereas Meta generated enormous profits.
Meta argues that this narrative is false. It claims that Meta instead encourages the use of news sources.
“We will be forced to contemplate removing news totally from our platform if Congress accepts a poorly thought-out journalistic measure as part of national security legislation,” said Andy Stone, a representative for Meta.
Furthermore, Meta claims that news sharing accounts for a relatively modest amount of Facebook’s earnings.
In March 2021, a comparable Australian law came into effect, and for a brief period of time, Facebook news feeds were not available there.
The company quickly changed its mind and entered into negotiations with the Australian government after receiving heavy criticism.
The US laws are part of a larger set of rules intended to challenge Big Tech’s monopoly.
Local newspapers will supposedly be replaced by social media as the main news source in America if the JCPA is not passed.
The American Economic Liberties Project’s Matt Stoller, Director of Research, claims that Meta is “eating alive” media companies.
“This monopoly is a menace to democracies throughout the world,” he asserted, claiming that Meta’s attempts to blackmail Congress “demonstrate once more why.”