Meta threatens to remove news content over US journalism bargaining bill


Facebook owner Meta threatened to remove news content from its platform on Monday, following reports that U.S. lawmakers added controversial news media-friendly legislation to the annual defense authorization bill.

The warning underscores the dangers Meta recognizes in its business model in the face of proposed legislation known as the Journalism Competition and Protection Act (JCPA).

The legislation, introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar and backed by a dozen other lawmakers from both parties, would grant a four-year exemption from U.S. antitrust law that would allow news outlets to collectively bargain with social media platforms in exchange for a larger share of ad revenue for them. news content. It’s one of several tech-focused antitrust bills currently pending on Capitol Hill.

“If Congress passes an ill-conceived press bill as part of national security legislation,” Mehta said in a statement tweets Spokesman Andy Stone said, “We will be forced to consider removing news from our platform entirely, rather than submitting to government-mandated negotiations that unfairly ignore our efforts to increase traffic and subscriptions. Any value that the news media provides.”

Meta has shown a willingness to follow through on its threats. When similar legislation was about to pass in Australia last year, the company briefly suspended users’ ability to share and view links to news stories on its platform. (It later changed course and passed legislation later that year.)

On Monday, digital rights group Fight for the Future told reporters that “multiple sources” said efforts to include the JCPA in the annual defense bill had been successful, and that language from the JCPA was included in the defense authorization bill. CNN has not independently confirmed the changes to the defense bill.

A spokesman for Klobuchar did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The tech industry strongly opposes the JCPA, but the bill has also drawn criticism from more than two dozen civil society groups that often disagree with big tech companies on policy issues.

In a letter to congressional leaders on Monday, the groups said the JCPA could make false and false by allowing news sites to sue technology platforms to reduce the reach of reporting and intimidate them from moderating offensive or misleading content. Information gets worse.

The letter also said the JCPA could end up disproportionately favoring large media companies over smaller, local and independent outlets that have been hit hardest by declining digital ad revenue.

The letter was signed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Wikimedia Foundation and Public Knowledge.

Digital Content Next, a trade association representing digital media companies, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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