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Meta Platform’s threat to remove news from its platform is something it had actually done before.
Social media and multinational tech conglomerate Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: META) has threatened to pull off US-related news content from its apps if the American Congress passes the controversial Journalism Bill.
Billed as a National Security initiative, the Journalism Competition, and Preservation Act, if passed, will give the power to news outlets to negotiate the revenues they can get from their content that goes on tech giant’s platforms.
The controversial bill will not only be disadvantageous to Meta Platforms, but it will also affect outlets like Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL) both of which dominate the ads scene.
Sharing the plans, Andy Stone, Meta Platform’s Head of Policy Communications said the bill is bound to set a very bad precedent for American businesses. He noted that if the Bill becomes law, news support on Facebook and Instagram may have to be removed.
“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,” he said in a tweet shared on Tuesday.
Meta statement on the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act: pic.twitter.com/kyFqKQw7xs
— Andy Stone (@andymstone) December 5, 2022
The Journalism Bill was introduced in 2021 on accounts that tech giants beat and squeeze out news publishers in terms of revenue generation for the content. With the Bill set to force the likes of Facebook and Google to pay for news content, the bill will be benefiting these newsmakers across the board.
Stone reiterated in his statement that Congress has failed to recognize that newsmakers put up their content on Facebook because it helps their bottom line and not the way around.
“Put simply: the government creating a cartel-like entity which requires one private company to subsidise other private entities is a terrible precedent for all American businesses,” he said.
Will Meta Platforms and US Congress Reach Compromise on News Compensation?
It should be recalled that Meta Platform’s threat to remove news from its platform is something it had actually done before. The company removed Australian news back in 2021 when the government requested that the company pay for the news content, drawing on a similar bill that the American government is now trying to pass.
The company later sat on the negotiation table with the Australian Government and was able to reach a compromise that worked for all sides.
The Canadian Government has also been threatened with such, underscoring Meta Platform’s lack of readiness to rethink its position about revenue sharing across the board. Whether or not this negotiation approach will ensue between the US government and Meta Platforms is too soon to predict, however, should the tech giant pull news from its platform, chances are that it will cause more harm than good and the government may not be willing to overlook things then.
There are entities in support of the bill as well as others who are against the government’s approach. Those in Meta Platform’s favor submitted that the bill can “create an ill-advised antitrust exemption for publishers and broadcasters.”