Meta announced yesterday it would remove the Facebook News tab from its platform in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany in December.
While Facebook users will be able to read and share news from various sources, the company will no longer support partnered relationships with news channels through the Facebook News tab.
This decision is another chapter in Meta’s complicated relationship with the news on its platform.
Facebook News was started back in 2019 in response to claims that the platform was rife with incorrect or misleading news stories shared among users.
Facebook News was an attempt to provide users with access to more trustworthy sources of news, but that relationship has been complicated by many of the media organizations accusing Meta of making millions from its content without equitably sharing these profits.
In Canada, government regulators have forced Meta to bar users from seeing or sharing links to news items.
Similar restrictions were possibly on the horizon in many European countries where data regulations are much stricter than in the US.
Meta was also anticipating several lawsuits from news organizations to examine ad revenue sharing for its news section, leading to the preemptive decision to remove Facebook News from the three largest markets in Europe.
Despite outside surveys that Meta’s platforms are often used for access to news, the company downplayed the decision on their blog. “News makes up less than three percent of what people around the world see in their Facebook feed, so news discovery is a small part of the Facebook experience for the vast majority of people.”