Facebook users could find themselves unable to share news in the future if Meta goes through with its threat.
As reported by The Verge, Meta is threatening to pull news from Facebook in the United States if the country’s Congress passes the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, a bill that would force the company to negotiate and compensate publishers for the content featured on the social media platform.
Andy Stone, Meta’s head of policy communications, called the bill “ill-considered” and “a terrible precedent for all American business.” If the bill passes, Stone says that the company “will be forced to consider removing news from our platform altogether.”
“If Congress passes an ill-considered journalism bill as part of national security legislation, we will be forced to consider removing news from our platform altogether rather than submit to government-mandated negotiations that unfairly disregard any value we provide to news outlets through increased traffic and subscription. The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act fails to recognize the key fact: publishers and broadcasters put their content on our platform themselves because it benefits their bottom line — not the other way around.”
According to the report, the Senate Judiciary Committee has already passed the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act in September by a 15 to seven vote, but the bill has yet to face a full vote in the Senate.
Facebook has already made good on a threat like this elsewhere. It had removed news from its platform in Australia after similar legislation passed. It later added news back on the platform after terms were added to the rules that favored the company’s stance.
We’ll have to see if the U.S. Congress backs down to Meta’s demands or pushes forward with the legislation as is. The company seems to be willing to take drastic measures to protect its status quo.