A legislative push in the United States, aimed at giving news organisations greater power to negotiate fees for the content shared on social media sites like Facebook, has run into rough weather.

Meta (formerly Facebook Inc.) has threatened to remove all news content from its platform if the measure is passed. The proposal has also come under attack from other groups representing Internet giants like Amazon and Google.

 

What is the proposed law?

  • The draft legislation is known as the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) of 2022.
  • It would allow publishers greater powers to collectively bargain with companies like Facebook and Google for a larger share of ad revenue.
  • The publishers have long complained of dwindling revenues as social media platforms cornered a large chunk of online advertisements.

 

Opposition from internet giants

  • Meta has argued that contrary to publishers’ claims, platforms like Facebook actually help them with the distribution.
  • As per them, the current legislation fails to recognise the key fact: publishers and broadcasters put their content on our platform themselves because it benefits their bottom line.
  • No company should be forced to pay for content users do not want to see and that is not a meaningful source of revenue.
  • These internet companies contend that the government is creating a cartel-like entity which requires one private company to subsidise other private entities.