- In a statement Monday, Meta threatened to pull news from Facebook in the US over a media bill.
- The bill would require Facebook and other platforms to pay publishers for their news.
- Meta previously cut all access to news in Australia after a similar bill was passed in the country.
Meta, Facebook’s parent company, issued a public warning Monday that it could remove all news from its US platform if Congress passed its media-competition bill, which would force Meta and other platforms to compensate publishers and broadcasters.
Andy Stone, Meta’s policy-communications director, posted the company’s statement on Twitter regarding its position on the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act. The statement said that if Congress passed the “ill-considered journalism bill,” Meta “will be forced to consider removing news from our platform altogether.”
The bill was introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar with bipartisan support and would enable publishers to negotiate with social-media platforms like Facebook and Google over how their content is distributed on such platforms. This includes requiring social-media firms to pay for news content.
“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 round,” Meta said in the statement.
“No company should be forced to pay for content other users don’t want to see and that’s not a meaningful source of revenue,” it added.
The bill was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in September, but it has yet to pass the chamber.
Meta has had a long-running battle with similar policies. In 2021, the social-media giant temporarily banned Australian users from viewing, sharing, or interacting with news content on its platform after Australia proposed a similar bill forcing companies like Meta to pay media companies for news content.
The ban even prevented users worldwide from seeing news distributed by Australian media companies. It blocked pages for fire departments, emergency services, food banks, and other critical organizations in the country.
Meta reversed the ban after the bill was amended and struck a deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. to pay the media firm to distribute its content across Facebook.
The company issued a similar threat to Canada in October over its Online News Act bill, which would also require the platform to pay for news.