Facebook owner Meta may remove news from the platform if U.S. Congress passes media bill

A Journalism Competition for Preservation Act is reportedly being considered by US politicians as an amendment to an annual defense bill that must be passed. The parent company of Facebook, Meta Platforms, threatened to remove content from its platform on Monday if the US Congress approved a measure to make it simpler for news organizations to bargain collectively with firms like Alphabet’s Facebook and Google.

According to up a part, lawmakers are considering including the Journalism Competition for Preservation Act as a defensive measure that must be passed each year in order to help the ailing local journalism sector. In a tweet, Meta representative Andy Stone said that if the law is implemented, the firm would have to decide between eliminating news and complying with government-mandated talks that unfairly discount the value we offer to news publishers through increased traffic or subscriptions.

The plan, he continued, ignores the fact that content is posted on the platform by publishers and broadcasters because doing so “benefits their bottom line, not the other way around.”

A News Media Alliance, a trade association for newspaper publishers, is pleading with Congress to include the measure in the budget bill because “Local papers are running out of time to act before they are forced to bear several more years or Big Tech’s misuse and exploitation. We run the risk of letting social media replace traditional local newspapers in America if Congress does not act soon.”

Numerous organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Public Knowledge, and the Computer & Communications Industry Association, urged Congress not to pass the local news bill on Monday, claiming it would “create an ill-advised antitrust exemption for publishers or broadcasters” and that it does not mandate that “funds gained through negotiation and arbitration will even be paid to journalists.”

According to a government study, a comparable Australian rule, which went into force in March 2021 after negotiations with major tech companies resulted in a temporary shutdown on Facebook news feeds as in the nation, has generally succeeded.

The many tech companies, including Meta and Alphabet, have made more than 30 agreements with media sites since a News Media Bargaining Code came into effect, paying them for material that brought in clicks and ad revenue, the report added.