After Australia fight, Facebook threatens to block US news

Is Meta's threat undemocratic?
15 December 2022

Facebook parent company Meta threatened it might take all news content off its US platforms if Congress moved ahead with a proposal that gave publications greater leverage to negotiate compensation from platforms distributing their content.

The proposal would allow news outlets to collectively bargain with tech giants that distribute their content, including Google and Meta, giving them greater leverage to negotiate favourable commercial terms.

A Meta spokesman issued a blistering statement last week that criticised any plan to accelerate the provisions from the Journalism and Competition Preservation Act through Congress.

Such a move would force the technology giant “to consider removing news content from our platform altogether,” Meta said in a statement

Meta’s threat was the latest in an emerging global battle between governments and tech giants over whether the latter should be forced to pay news outlets to display their original content in search results and social media feeds.

Meta previously acted on similar threats in Australia, where last year it temporarily blocked all news content to protest against similar plans since enacted by its government.

The News Media Alliance, a trade body representing the newspaper industry and a supporter of the proposal, described Meta’s threat as “undemocratic and unbecoming” in a statement.

- CyberBeat

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