Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Journalism Bill: Facebook threatens to block media houses from distributing content

Meta noted that “no company should be forced to pay for content users don’t want to see, and that’s not a meaningful source of revenue.”

• December 6, 2022

Facebook’s parent company, Meta, has threatened to ban news organisations from the social network should the U.S. Congress succeed in passing the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, asserting publishers and broadcasters are the ones that profit from distributing their content on the platform.

“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,” tweeted a statement by Meta’s spokesperson, Andy Stone.

The statement came in response to a new plan to pass the journalism bill that will enable news organisations to benefit from posting their content on Facebook. 

Meta said it would rather remove news links from Facebook than “submit to government-mandated negotiations that unfairly disregard any value we provide to news outlets through increased traffic and subscriptions.”

The statement claimed that publishers and broadcasters were the ones making money from the distribution of their content on Facebook, emphasising that it was “not the other way around,” a claim that suggested it was not a win-win situation for the social network.

Meta noted that “no company should be forced to pay for content users don’t want to see, and that’s not a meaningful source of revenue.”

Meanwhile, a regulation requiring technology companies like Google and Facebook to compensate news organisations for their news content to show on their feeds is also being considered in New Zealand.

“It is critical that those benefiting from their news content actually pay for it,” said New Zealand’s Minister of Broadcasting, Willie Jackson. “New Zealand news media, particularly small regional and community newspapers, are struggling to remain financially viable as more advertising moves online.”

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