If Congress passes a bill that requires the platform to negotiate with and compensate publishers for their content, Facebook could ban news in the US. If the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act is passed, Facebook will be forced to consider removing news from the site, according to Andy Stone. When news was proposed in Canada and Australia, Facebook threatened to block it.
The JCPA was introduced last year and would allow publishers to negotiate with platforms over the distribution of their content. It's supposed to give news publishers leverage against Big Tech and could force Facebook to pay for including news on its platform, something that Facebook has fought in the past in other countries.
Stone writes that if Congress passes an ill-considered journalism bill as part of national security legislation, we will be forced to consider removing news from our platform altogether. Publishers and broadcasters put their content on our platform because it benefits their bottom line, not the other way around, according to the journalism competition and preservation act.
In February of last year, Facebook pulled news from the platform in Australia due to legislation. The Wall Street Journal reported that the company may have deliberately implemented the ban to win favor. The amended version of the law gives publishers and platforms two months to strike a deal or else be forced into mediation. A similar threat was issued by Facebook in response to Canada's Online News Act.
The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee in September but still needs to be passed by the full Senate. The bill is being opposed by other entities. The Electronic Frontier Foundation was one of 26 organizations that wrote a letter against the bill. A wide alliance of publishing organizations has supported the bill.
Facebook is willing to use scorched earth tactics to stop news payment laws around the world, even if it means cutting off news in one of its largest markets.