Facebook and Instagram will become news-free zones in California if the state passes a bill that would require Meta and other large online platforms to fork over an unspecified share of advertising revenue to news publishers and broadcasters in the Golden State.
Andy Stone, Communications Director at Meta, posted this threat on a competing social platform(Opens in a new window), Twitter: "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,” his statement reads in part.
“The bill fails to recognize that publishers and broadcasters put their content on our platform themselves and that substantial consolidation in California's local news industry came over 15 years ago, well before Facebook was widely used," he added.
The California Journalism Preservation Act (AB 886(Opens in a new window)), introduced in February by Rep. Buffy Wicks (D.-Oakland) and most recently amended Tuesday, would mandate that for-profit online platforms with at least 50 million US monthly active users pay a “journalism usage fee”—a percentage of their in-state advertising revenue, to be set in arbitration—to qualifying in-state news organizations.
The bill text defines “online platform” as a site, app, service, or digital assistant that "accesses" news “or portions thereof.” Between that and the 50-million-users minimum, it would appear to cover both widely used platforms like Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok as well as such less-obvious contenders as Reddit and Amazon’s Alexa.
The bill further says “access” means “link to, display, or presentRead more on pcmag.com