Meta Threatens To Remove News Content From Facebook In California If Bill Forcing Company To Pay Publishers Passes 

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Jason Cohen Contributor
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Meta will eliminate news from the Facebook and Instagram feeds of California residents if the state’s Journalism Preservation Act becomes law, according to a statement shared on Twitter on Wednesday.

“We will be forced to remove news from Facebook and Instagram,” if the billl passes, tweeted Andy Stone, policy communications director for Meta. The proposed legislation would compel companies like Meta to pay publishers for journalistic content posted on their platforms. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Senators Strike Deal On Journalism Bill, Adding Protections For Conservative Media)

The bill “primarily benefits big, out-of-state media companies under the guise of aiding California publishers,” Stone stated. “It is disappointing that California lawmakers appear to be prioritizing the best interests of national and international media companies over their own constituents.” This was Meta’s first public statement on the California bill, according to Reuters.

However, Stone tweeted a similar statement about a bill in the U.S. Congress called the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) in December. Since it was a federal bill, Meta threatened to remove news content from its platform throughout the United States.

“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,” Stone tweeted.

Lawmakers crafted JCPA to give small news publications collective negotiating power against Big Tech companies, according to a news release about the bill in March. 

“Local news is facing an existential crisis, from ad revenues plummeting and newsrooms across the country closing to artificial intelligence tools taking content,” Democratic Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, one of the senators who introduced the bill, stated. “To preserve strong, independent journalism, news organizations must be able to negotiate on a level playing field with the online platforms that dominate news distribution and digital advertising.”

“Publishers and broadcasters benefit from our free services,” Meta told the Daily Caller News Foundation. Additionally, “People do not come to Facebook for news, and it is not a significant portion of users’ feeds,” the company stated.

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