Meta to Remove News Content If US Passes Media Bill

On Monday, Facebook's parent company Meta threatened to remove news content from the social media platform in the US if a bill, known as the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), is passed.

Meta to Remove News Content If US Passes Media Bill
Image credit: reuters

Facts

  • On Monday, Facebook's parent company Meta threatened to remove news content from the social media platform in the US if a bill, known as the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), is passed.
  • The bill aims to make it easier for news organizations to bargain collectively against tech giants for larger fees to use their content.
  • US lawmakers are reportedly considering adding it to the annual defense bill to help local news publishers.
  • A similar law — the News Media Bargaining Code — that took effect in March 2021 in Australia led to a brief shutdown of Facebook news feeds in the country. Despite this, an Australian government report has claimed the law has largely worked, with various Big Tech firms signing more than 30 deals with media outlets.
  • The JCPA was introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and has been backed by over a dozen other lawmakers from both parties. The bill is currently one of several tech-focused antitrust laws pending in Congress.

Sources: BBC News, Silicon, Reuters, and CNN.

Narratives

  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Cato Institute. The JCPA is mistakenly predicated on the belief that tech companies are destroying independent journalism and local media, which actually benefit from distributing on large social media platforms. Under the guise of being a neutral mechanism for genuine negotiation, the bill is nothing more than an extension to the war on Big Tech, allowing politicians to redistribute wealth as they see fit.
  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Twin Cities. Local journalism is a cornerstone of democracy, yet it's facing an existential crisis due to the power of Big Tech platforms. It's fundamentally unfair that tech giants profit from the hard work of independent journalists without fairly compensating them. The JCPA will bring about much-needed change and keep small and local publishers afloat.

Predictions