In a statement posted on Twitter on May 31, Meta expressed its opposition to the proposal AB 886, which requires big tech companies to pay news outlets a journalism usage fee, is made into law.
The proposed law is aimed at reversing a decline in California's local news sector.
The statement was Meta's first official comment specifically addressing AB 886.
Support for Local News Industry
Democrat State Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, who sponsored the California bill, tweeted that Meta's threat was "a scare tactic that they've tried to deploy, unsuccessfully, in every country that's attempted this."
"It is egregious that one of the wealthiest companies in the world would rather silence journalists than face regulation," Wicks said.
"If the Journalism Preservation Act passes, we will be forced to remove news from Facebook and Instagram rather than pay into a slush fund that primarily benefits big, out-of-state media companies under the guise of aiding California publishers," Meta policy communications director Andy Stone said in a statement on Twitter.
"The bill fails to recognize that publishers and broadcasters put their content on our platform themselves and that substantial consolidation in California's local news industry came over 15 years ago, well before Facebook was widely used."
The California bill would also require publishers to devote 70 percent of the proceeds from these fees to create and maintain positions in journalism throughout the state.