Meta, Facebook’s parent company, is threatening a boycott of U.S. news outlets should Congress pass a law giving outlets the power to acquire a larger share of the social media platform’s ad revenue.
“Meta has threatened to remove news content from Facebook in the US. It objects to a new law that would give news organizations greater power to negotiate fees for content shared on Facebook,” BBC reported.
Congress is set to determine the passage of the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), introduced by Democrat Sen. Amy Klobuchar. The bill, which has bipartisan support, would provide media organizations and conglomerates more bargaining power with social media companies to demand a larger share of ad revenue.
Supporters of the bill claim that Facebook is putting small news companies out of business and that its dominance of the media would make social media the “de facto local newspapers” should the bill fail to pass.
The bill is similar to an Australian law that saw Facebook briefly suspend its dissemination of pageviews to news outlets in the country in 2021. The ban was lifted after the company came to an agreement with the Australian government.
Large media companies in favour of the law’s passage claim that Meta receives massive income from their articles. Meta argued in turn that the platform provides these outlets with pageviews.
“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,” said Meta spokesman Andy Stone.
The company also argues that news sharing on Facebook only accounts for a fraction of its revenue.