Meta threatens to block news stories on Facebook over California bill

June 2, 2023


The state Assembly on Thursday passed a bill that would require technology companies to pay media outlets for content they produce, despite tech giant Meta threatening to block news stories on Facebook in California.

AB 886, dubbed the California Journalism Preservation Act (CPJA), would require big tech companies, including Meta, Google and Twitter, to pay journalism usage fees to eligible media outlets when they use local news content and sell advertising alongside it. In turn, media outlets receiving the payments would need to invest at least 70% of the funds in journalism jobs, including news reporters and support staff. 

In February, Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) introduced the bill. On Thursday, AB 886 passed the Assembly on a vote of 55-6. The bill now heads to the Senate.

“The CJPA provides a lifeline for news outlets — large, small, and ethnic — by directing a portion of the ad dollars back to the print, digital, and broadcast media that bear the entire cost of gathering and reporting local news while Big Tech bears none,” Wicks said in a statement about the bill. “These dominant digital ad companies are enriching their own platforms with local news content without adequately compensating the originators.”

Meta argues the struggles of the news industry predate the rise of Facebook and other social media platforms. Also, news comprises less than 3% of most Facebook users’ feeds, the tech company says. [Sac Bee]

“If the Journalism Preservation Act passes, we will be forced to remove news from Facebook and Instagram, rather than pay into a slush fund that primarily benefits big, out-of-state media companies under the guise of aiding California publishers,” Meta said in a statement this week.

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So Meta doesn’t want to have to pay for the heavily slanted news from the mega media giants, only to run in through their own spin cycle, then post the even more biased final work on Facebook? Wow, I’m really, really, really going to miss that heavily watered down news feed on Facebook that almost reads like editorials. Maybe like Twitter, Meta can save some money by laying off a few thousand editors, censors and thought cops from their defunct news division.

I can’t see any big loss if Facebook stops distributing other peoples news. BFD. Zuckerberg must be under the illusion that most people care. The entire Facebook company could shut down tomorrow and the world would go on just fine without it.

Correction: The world would be better without it.

Corrupt one-party government can’t handle honest debate, nor honest multi-sided debate.

Journalism. What is journalism? – (The question a 21st century Pontius Pilate would ask).

Everyone is trying to get paid for doing nothing….