It opposes a new law that would give news organizations more negotiating power over fees for the content shared on Facebook. Last year, a similar law in Australia made news on Facebook temporarily suspended.
Meta claims that its platform increase traffic to struggling news outlets. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar introduced the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) in Congress, and it has bipartisan support.
It would give publishers and broadcasters more bargaining power with social media companies for a larger share of revenue collected from ads.
Media companies claim that news articles shared on Meta generate large sums of money. Local news, in particular, struggled during the pandemic, while Meta profited enormously.
However, Meta contends that this narrative is incorrect. Meta, it claims, drives traffic to news sources.
“If Congress passes an ill-conceived journalism bill as part of national security legislation, we will be forced to consider completely removing news from our platform,” said a Meta spokesperson.
Meta also claims that sharing news on Facebook only accounts for a small portion of its revenue. A similar Australian law went into effect in March 2021. It resulted in the temporary suspension of Facebook news feeds in the country.
Following widespread criticism, the company quickly reversed its decision, brokering a deal with the Australian government.
A spokeswoman for Meta said in a statement about Australia’s proposed law last year, “The business benefit from the news is minimal for Facebook. News accounts for less than 4% of the content seen in people’s News Feeds.”
The United States legislation is part of a larger set of laws aimed at limiting Big Tech’s dominance.
If the JCPA is not passed, supporters say social media will become America’s “de facto local newspapers.”