Google removes California news sites in rejection of bill – El Sol de México

San Francisco.- Google announced this Friday that it began a test to eliminate links to news sites in California, in the United States, in rejection of a bill that provides for the payment of a commission to the media.

The Silicon Valley firm is preparing for the possible passage of the California Journalism Preservation Act (CJPA), which would force Google to pay to connect the state’s users with news articles, it said in a blog post. vice president of Google Global News Partnerships, Jaffer Zaidi, who called it a “link tax.”

The CJPA was passed by the California Assembly in June of last year and is currently being evaluated by the state Senate.

“As we have said when other countries have considered similar proposals, the unlimited financial exposure that the CJPA creates would be unviable,” Zaidi said.

“If enacted in its current form, the CJPA would create a level of business uncertainty that no business could accept,” he added.

Google and Facebook parent Meta have rejected attempts elsewhere to require it to compensate media outlets for articles on their platforms.

In 2021, Facebook briefly blocked news articles in Australia following the passing of a similar law. Subsequently, the social network and Google agreed to remunerate the media.

In 2022 in France, an agreement was reached between Google, media and press agencies to allow informative content to be seen on its platform in exchange for remuneration.

Last November, after months of negotiations, Canada and Google signed an agreement in which the internet advertising giant would pay the media in that country $100 million a year as compensation for the loss of advertising revenue.

Supporters of such laws argue that platforms like Google and Facebook entice users with news and gobble up online advertising dollars, revenue that would otherwise go to struggling newsrooms.

The test Google is doing involves removing links that point to news websites that could be covered by the law, to measure the effect on the platform, according to Zaidi.

The executive says that only 2% of search queries on Google are related to news, and that people get news through short videos, email newsletters, podcasts and social networks.

Google has also halted investments in California’s news “ecosystem” until regulators’ plan is clear, Zaidi added.

“A healthy news industry in California will require the support of both the California government and a broad base of private businesses,” he said.

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