When the band Split Enz said “history never repeats itself”, clearly they were too quick. One of the examples is Facebook again threatening to ban news links if they have to pay media outlets of news🇧🇷 This time, the threat is against a bill being discussed in the United States.
The same threat was made in 2021 and later this year, when similar PLs were proposed in Australia and Canada, respectively. The project named preservation and competition of journalism is supported by the Republican and Democratic parties🇧🇷
Facebook considers that only vehicles benefit
In the statement released on Twitter, Andy Stone, from Meta’s communication, states that only news vehicles benefit from the content shared on the platform.
In the text, Meta says that the project ignores existing payments between the social network and vehicles, including subscriptions. The statement also accuses the government of creating a “cartel” (recalling that Meta owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) in which a private company would have to subsidize other private companies – would Mark Zuckerberg be Meta’s Pablo Escobar?
Facebook is responsible for nearly 12% of the traffic websites receive. In other words, for every 100 accesses to some content, 12 came from Facebook. Second place is Twitter, with 0.82%.
But Facebook is not a victim in the case. The story that she does not benefit from the news content is “bullshit”. The user who follows or likes several news outlets can spend more time on social networks, as Facebook/Instagram can function as a “content aggregator”. Not to mention the time lost to fights over news comments.
These usage habits are data that Zuckerberg presents to investors, justifying that, despite the drop in revenue and spending on the metaverse, usage time on social networks is high. And another, you can’t even guarantee that all people click to read the content.
Facebook uses old tactic, but it was effective
The social network strategy can be repeated, but it worked in Australia. Some outlets christened Facebook’s tactic “scorched earth,” when a retreating army destroys everything that might be useful to the enemy. In fact, what Meta does, where I come from, is called blackmail — “tantrum child” goes for it too.
The social network actually banned news in Australia, even before the law was passed. Facebook used an algorithm to block any content with more than 60% news, instead of banning only the news outlets registered in its system.
The algorithm even blocked the dissemination of informational links from public bodies in the country, including health services. The Australian government fell for blackmail and changed the law to please Meta. Now, news vehicles and social networks have two months to negotiate the values.
In Canada, blackmail isn’t sticking. In October, during a debate session on the country’s bill, Meta had to hear from one of the deputies the accusations of a whistleblower, in an interview with washington postthat the company acted to intimidate the Australian government.
With information: The Verge🇧🇷 The Guardian and The Atlantic