Meta threatens to remove news content in California

Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, threatens to remove news content from its platform in California, if the state enforces legislation mandating tech companies to compensate publishers.

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Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, announced on Wednesday that it would eliminate news content within its home state of California if the state government enforces legislation requiring technology companies to compensate publishers.

If passed, the California Journalism Preservation Act would mandate that online platforms pay a ‘journalism usage fee’ to news providers whose work is featured on their services. This legislation aims to address the decline of the local news industry.

In a statement shared on Twitter, Meta spokesperson Andy Stone criticised the payment structure, saying that the bill would primarily benefit ‘big, out-of-state media companies’ while pretending to support California publishers. Previously, Stone said that Meta would completely remove news from its platform if the US Congress passed a bill resembling the proposed California legislation.

The new legislation is similar to a law enacted by Australia in 2021 when Facebook and Google negotiated amendments to it after threats of scaling back their services.