Facebook Threatens To Ban News From Platform Entirely

Facebook Threatens To Ban News From Platform Entirely

(LibertySociety.com) – Meta, the company that owns Facebook, threatened to remove news pieces from its platform if the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) passes Congress. The proposed legislation isn’t new — Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced it in March 2021, and the US government is reportedly trying to push it through as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). If passed, it would essentially remove US antitrust laws that prevent media outlets from negotiating revenues with Big Tech.

At its core, the act would give news sources the ability to demand a larger share of advertising income before allowing their stories to post on sites. The anti-trust law exemption period would last for four years, beginning from the time the bill becomes law. Instead of complying, Meta indicated it could simply eliminate news from its platform entirely.

The bill, which has support and opposition from both sides of the political aisle, is intended to give news companies more power over their own content. Meta’s Head of Policy Communications, Andy Stone, said the legislation would create a “cartel-like entity” and would set a standard that would negatively affect every business in America.

Meta already blocked news from Facebook temporarily in Australia following the passage of a similar measure. The company restored the feed after discussing the matter with the country’s government.

On December 5, News Media Alliance released a statement responding to Facebook’s threat, calling the warning “undemocratic and unbecoming.” The source said the move didn’t go well in Australia, implying a similar action would be unsuccessful in the US as well.

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