Meta Threatens To Pull News Content In California If Bill To Pay Publishers Passes

If a bill, sponsored by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland, passes, Meta threatens to pull news content in California unless it pays publishers.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, threatened to remove news from its social media sites in California if the state passes a bill requiring big tech companies to pay news outlets for their content.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Andy Stone, Meta’s communications director, called California’s Journalism Preservation Act “a slush fund that primarily benefits big, out-of-state media companies under the guise of aiding California publishers.”

“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,” Stone said.

The bill, sponsored by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland, requires digital companies such as Google and Facebook to pay local news publishers a “journalism usage fee” whenever their news content is used or posted on those platforms. The bill also requires news publishers to invest 70% of usage fee profits into journalism jobs.

According to a report by POLITICO, the European Union is furious after Elon Musk withdrew Twitter from an online censorship program, citing his commitment to prioritizing freedom of speech over pleasing EU.

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