McConnell Says He Will Support Bipartisan Plan To Curtail Big Tech Influence

Mitch McConnell, the minority leader in the Senate, has agreed to support a bipartisan plan that will provide the most significant curtailment of Big Tech influence in decades. This call has been made by all major conservative media outlets. The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, also known as the JCPA, aims to negotiate payment terms for original news information that search engines and social media giants like Facebook and Google scrape off of other websites.

These businesses then generate enormous revenues for themselves without engaging in any kind of content creator sharing agreement. The proposed rule mandates that these businesses compensate publishers for the content that has been compiled and used on Big Tech platforms.

Almost every significant conservative online publication has supported the JCPA, including Newsmax, the Washington Examiner, the Daily Caller, the Washington Times, Townhall, and Salem Media, among others.

McConnell, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decided to incorporate the JCPA legislation in the ongoing National Defense Authorization Act while Congress continues through the lame-duck session.


Big Tech corporations were alarmed by reports of the potential new rule, and Facebook parent company Meta threatened to remove all news items from its newsfeed. Facebook has legitimate cause for concern. A new JCPA law will grant publishers with fewer than 1,500 employees a four-year antitrust “safe harbor” to collectively bargain for fair compensation for the quality, original content they produce.

Advocates claim that by enabling publishers to negotiate a reasonable price for the use of their content, it gives conservatives the best chance to curtail the enormous influence that Big Tech monopolies possess over them.

Several dozen conservative publishers concurred in a letter to Congress that the JCPA is “critically crucial to ensuring the survival of high-quality journalism. Obtaining just pay from internet platforms for the usage of their content is difficult for news organizations due to existing restrictions, they argued.

Supporters of the JCPA claim that it is the only effective way for thousands of small publishers to negotiate properly with industry giants like Google and Facebook. Critics have referred to the bargaining organization as a “cartel.”

Additionally, they point out that a number of conservative media sources who oppose the JCPA have also struck lucrative financial deals with Big Tech for the use of their content. These deals were made by large, frequently liberal media companies.

A recent White Paper by the News/Media Alliance, a prominent advocate for the news media sector, details how Google profiteers off news content while bankrupting publishers.

According to the White Paper, Google’s use of content via Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, through Google Discover, the Google News app, Google Assistant, and Search has turned into a “walled garden” where both publishers and consumers are told to stay inside, ultimately leading to a loss of advertising revenue, reader data, and subscribers for publishers.

According to Danielle Coffey, executive vice president and general counsel of the News/Media Alliance, “Google steals income from valuable news material by deliberately and methodically sending tailored information to users to keep them behind their walled gardens.”

She claimed that news publishers “are obliged to submit to practically unrestricted uses of their information in exchange for scraps to pay the enormous investments it takes to create quality journalism” because they have “little bargaining power.”

Some critics worry that right-leaning media outlets will continue to be marginalized by Big Tech platforms, which have been accused of stifling conservative ideas in the name of “disinformation.” The JCPA, however, requires that any agreement with Big Tech be inclusive of all small publishers and content-neutral.

“Big publications” like The New York Times and Washington Post won’t be eligible because only publishers with 1,500 or less staff are included.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, introduced a content moderation amendment that was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. This amendment forbids Big Tech from using negotiations as an excuse to sway, manipulate, or censor content.

The Cruz amendment forbids the parties from negotiating about how they “display, rank, distribute, suppress, promote, censor, label, filter, or curate” content, leaving only the ultimate payment made by Big Tech to publishers for their content up for discussion.

Australia enacted a comparable content regulation in 2021 that obliges Google and Facebook to compensate news publishers for the aggregation of their material on their platforms.

Facebook threatened, then temporarily shut down news aggregation on its platform as the measure was being reviewed. According to a government assessment from Australia that was published this month, the new law has been successful, and it was suggested that other social media and search engines should be forced to charge for utilized content.




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