Facebook is once again threatening to remove news from its platform, this time in the US in response to a journalism bill before Congress.
Congress proposed the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) with bipartisan support. The bill would provide a way for news publishers to negotiate with Facebook, Google, and other online platforms for access to and distribution of their content, according to The Verge.
Andy Stone, Meta’s head of policy communications, tweeted about the company’s response to the bill.
“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. No company should be forced to pay for content users don’t want to see and that’s not a meaningful source of revenue. Put simply: the government creating a cartel-like entity which requires one private company to subsidize other private entities is a terrible precedent for all American businesses.”
Ultimately, despite its bluster, Facebook ultimately backed down in the face of Australia’s similar bill, making it unlikely Facebook will follow through on its threats in the US.