Meta announces end to journalism funding deals, Facebook news tab to shut down in April

by | Mar 1, 2024

Facebook’s parent company, Meta, has announced it will stop paying Australian publishers for news, and will shut down its news tab in the United States and Australia. When the current contracts expire this year, Meta informed publishers on Friday that it would not enter new deals.

Following a similar closure last year in the UK, Germany, and France, the news tab, which is a dedicated tab for news in Facebook's bookmarks section, will also close in these countries in April. Publishers were informed at the same time that Meta confirmed the plans in a blog post.

Anthony Albanese, the prime minister of Australia, told reporters on Friday that this move was “not the Australian way”.

“We know that it’s absolutely critical that media is able to function properly and be properly funded. Journalism is important and the idea that research and work done by others can be taken free is simply untenable,” he explained.

Following the announcement, Michelle Rowland, the communications minister, and Stephen Jones, the assistant treasurer, called news media companies to let them know that the government would implement all the measures required by the news media bargaining code.

According to Meta, the decision was “part of an ongoing effort to better align our investments with our products and services people value the most” and that Facebook News users in Australia and the US have fallen by 80% in the last year.

In 2021, Facebook and Google reached dozens of agreements worth an estimated $200 million with the intent to avoid being designated under the news media bargaining code of the Australian government. This designation would have required the digital platforms to negotiate with news publishers regarding the use of news content.

In light of the agreements made, the federal government decided against designating both businesses.

In response to the proposed legislation, Facebook removed all of Australia's news content in addition to hundreds of pages from NGOs and the government. Since then, it has also accomplished this in Canada.

Source: The Guardian

 

 

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