Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has warned that his company may be forced to remove all news content from the platform altogether if Congress decides to pass the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) — legislation that will essentially create a cartel of media conglomerates that will be “capable of forcing Big Tech to transfer wealth to them,” according to Breitbart News.
According to reporting from Breitbart News, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has caved to demands from Democrat leaders — outgoing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer — to allow the JCPA to be included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), despite the fact that the media cartel bill has nothing to do with national defense.
They are actively trying to attach the Journalism Protection Competition Act (JPCA) to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Quick refresher here: https://t.co/hkeDdK99kT
— Hannah Cox (@HannahDCox) December 5, 2022
This last-ditch effort to move the JCPA through Congress in an underhanded way will essentially allow it to be passed without much debate on the matter, putting many lawmakers in the difficult position of having to argue against voting for a relatively uncontroversial issue — defense spending.
Meanwhile, there may be major consequences on Facebook if this legislation passes, as Zuckerberg slammed Congress’ efforts to include it in the NDAA by arguing that forcing the tech industry to deliver financial handouts to media conglomerates would create a “terrible precedent.”
Facebook released a statement regarding the issue, stating outright that the platform would “be forced to consider removing news” content from Facebook altogether if the bill passes.
The statement was posted on Twitter by Facebook spokesman Andy Stone.
“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 rather than submit to government-mandated negotiations that unfairly disregard any value we provide to news outlets through increased traffic and subscriptions,” the statement began.
“The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act fails to recognize the key fact: publishers and broadcasters put their content on our platform themselves because it benefits their bottom line – not the other way around,” the statement continued. “No company should be forced to pay for content users don’t want to see and that’s not a meaningful source of revenue.”
“Put simply: the government creating a cartel-like entity which requires one private company to subsidize other private entities is a terrible precedent for all American businesses,” the statement concluded.
Meta statement on the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act: pic.twitter.com/kyFqKQw7xs
— Andy Stone (@andymstone) December 5, 2022
The complaint from Facebook specifically cites the fact that the media cartel bill would forcibly transfer wealth from Big Tech to the media industry.
Breitbart News further notes that there are additional concerns regarding the legislation that Facebook failed to mention in their complaint, including the fact that it enables further collusion regarding censorship between Big Tech and the mainstream media, as well as the potential for large media conglomerates that own multiple publications to have the ability to dominate any cartel created under the JCPA.