Meta is killing off CrowdTangle in a crucial election year

The Australian government is getting ready to face the possibility that news from Facebook and Instagram might be removed by Meta.

The government is currently brainstorming plans that would compel Meta to publish news, such as forcing the company or altering the course using tax laws, reported The Guardian.

With the expiration of contracts under Australia's media bargaining law in 2021, Meta stopped entering into new agreements for news payments.

Tony McDonald, the assistant secretary for Treasury, spoke during a parliamentary committee hearing on the effects of social media on Australian culture on how to be ready for the possibility that digital behemoths like Meta may break regulatory norms, according to Adelaide Now.

McDonald said Meta's March 1 notification that it would no longer be honoring news payment agreements was "obviously very disappointing to the government."

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young of the Greens questioned McDonald, and he revealed that the Treasury was looking at tax measures to fortify regulatory structures.

McDonald stated during a parliamentary investigation into social media that the government was considering how to respond in case the situation arises.

"I think the experience we're seeing internationally with digital platforms is that a static target won't work because they will react and they'll respond. And the challenge for sovereign governments is to work out how to react and respond in relation to that," he said.

McDonald also added the government was also considering taxation to encourage the platform to continue.

"We've been exploring ... what might you be able to do to encourage them to continue, to encourage or force them [to] continue to carry news in those circumstances."

Meanwhile, assistant treasurer Stephen Jones is reportedly deliberating on whether the government should "designate" Meta under the news media bargaining code legislation. This would compel the tech company to engage in negotiations with news providers or face penalties equivalent to 10% of its Australian revenue, The Guardian reported.