Facebook owner, Meta, to shut US news content

Meta has threatened to remove news content from Facebook in the US as it objects to a new law that would give news organisations greater power to negotiate fees for content shared on Facebook.

A similar law, passed in Australia, led to news on Facebook being briefly suspended last year.

Meta claims their platform, in fact, provides increased traffic to struggling news outlets.

It says publishers put their content on Facebook because “it benefits their bottom line.”

The legislation, known as the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) was introduced in Congress by Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and has bipartisan support.

It would give publishers and broadcasters greater powers to collectively bargain with social media companies for a larger share of ad revenue.

Media companies argue that Meta generates huge sums of money from news articles shared on the platform.

Local news in particular struggled during the pandemic, as Meta made huge profits.

However Meta argues that this narrative is wrong. Instead, it says, Meta drives traffic to news sources.

Meta spokesperson Andy Stone said: “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”.

Meta also argues that sharing news on Facebook accounts for only a fraction of its revenue.

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