Headline RoundupDecember 6th, 2022

Meta Threatens to Pull News From Facebook if Media Bill Passes

AllSides Summary

Meta threatened to pull news content from its Facebook platform if Congress passes a bill aimed at helping news outlets make more money off Facebook's use of their content.

For Context: The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), has a bipartisan group of 14 cosponsors. Lawmakers are reportedly trying to add it to an annual defense bill to help it pass. In 2021, Facebook and Australia's government sparred over a similar law. A key detail of the bill is a "link tax" that would compel Facebook to pay fees to news sources for linking to their content.

Key Quotes: The bill's text says it will help online publishers "collectively negotiate with dominant online platforms" regarding the terms of content distribution. A spokesman for Meta said that if the "ill-considered" bill passes, "we would be forced to consider removing news from our platform altogether." A group of 26 organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union (Lean Left bias)urged Congress not to pass the bill, and raised concerns that it sets "a legal and political precedent that some uses of content that were once free of charge now require payment."

How the Media Covered It: Many sources focused on Meta's response and opposition to similar laws. Some right-rated voices framed the bill negatively. A writer for Reason (Lean Right bias) argued that the link tax is nonsensical and "poses a danger to fair use, to the open internet, and to the free press."

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