Meta has threatened to remove news content from Facebook in America if a new law passes that gives news organisations greater power to negotiate fees for content shared on the platform.
The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) was introduced in Congress by Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and has bipartisan support. A similar law, passed in Australia, led to news on Facebook being suspended last year.
The BBC reports that Meta claims their platform provides increased traffic to struggling news outlets and that publishers put their content on Facebook because “it benefits their bottom line”.
JCPA would give publishers greater powers to collectively bargain with social media companies for a larger share of ad revenue. Media companies argue that Meta generates a lot of money from news articles shared on the platform.
Meta, however, argues it drives traffic to news sources. “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,” Meta spokesperson Andy Stone told the BBC.
In March 2021, a similar Australian law led to a shutdown of Facebook news feeds in the country, but the company reversed the decision after widespread criticism and brokering a deal with the Australian government.