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Facebook threatens to pull news content amid journalism bill

Yahoo Finance tech editor Dan Howley breaks down Meta's plan to pull news content off of Facebook if Congress passes bill hoping to compensate news organizations on platform.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: While we have you, we also want to ask you about the latest headlines coming out of Meta. Meta saying that it will potentially pull news content from Facebook. This will, in fact, happen, they're saying, if Congress passes a new bill. What can you tell us about that?

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, this is one of the bills that's gotten some bipartisan support in Congress. And essentially, what it would do is force Meta and companies along its lines to compensate publishers for the kind of news stories that are run on their platforms. And so the idea here is that digital advertising has largely gone to Google and Meta over the years, increasingly, Amazon, and away from publishers.

And so that's hurt the publishing industry. They aren't able to get as many or as much money out of the ads that they otherwise would sell digitally. And so this bill, then, would allow them to kind of pull back some of that revenue. And this way, they wouldn't have to potentially go out of business, as we've seen, or lay off as many staffers. The idea is that Meta, Google, they benefit from these kinds of stories that then drive people to their sites.

Meta, on the other hand, says, look, people post New York Times posts on our site. Then they go back to the New York Times. It doesn't really work that way, and they're not really getting the amount of information that Meta does. But regardless, Meta is saying that if this does go forward, we're going to pull news from the US. It wouldn't be the first time they did this to a country, by the way. They did it in Australia, and they ended up also taking down some government sites. That was dangerous at the time because people were looking for information on disasters in the area.

DAVE BRIGGS: Very concerning development there. Tech editor Dan Howley, thanks so much.