Facebook, Instagram to block news stories in California if bill passes

Facebook and Instagram threaten to block news articles in California if lawmakers pass the California Journalism Preservation Act.

The big picture: The proposed legislation aims to redistribute ad revenue from tech platforms to media organizations by taxing ad profits from news article distribution.
* Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks sponsors the bill, arguing it could be a “lifeline” for local news organizations experiencing a decline in ad revenue.

Tech platform response: Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, argues that the bill supports out-of-state sites and would force them to remove news content from their platforms.
* Andy Stone, Meta spokesman, said the company would “remove news from Facebook and Instagram” if the bill passes.

Industry impact: The media industry has lost 40,000 newsroom jobs between 2008 and 2020, with tech giants such as Meta and Google dominating online advertising market shares.
* Australia’s successful implementation of similar legislation has led to an additional $150 million for news organizations and the creation of 50 new journalist roles.

Opposing views: Critics argue the bill may have unintended consequences and could potentially benefit bad actors or hedge-fund owners that have previously cut newsrooms for profits.
* Media scholar Amanda Lotz notes that the journalism business model is collapsing, but it is not solely the fault of Big Tech companies.

View original article on NPR

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