The former. The entire concept of the Web depends on linking. And this is what Facebook does–it may show small excerpts, but you still have to click through to read the actual article. It’s mutually beneficial for all parties.
Now Google’s newish thing where they take the most important part of an article and show it without the user clicking on anything? That’s more of a potential problem. People may read it instead of the original site, so it makes sense that Google should have to pay for the privilege to use that stuff.
But what Facebook does is just fancy links like we get here as part of Discourse.
What I think it is are news organizations not doing so well in the online age and trying to find new revenue streams. They see these big companies and try to get them to give them more money. They tellingly don’t go after smaller companies, hoping the distaste people have for the bigger companies and their deep pockets will be enough to get them what they want.
I support Facebook showing them exactly what it would be like if they don’t get the mutually beneficial links from Facebook. If Facebook was stealing stuff from them, causing them to lose money, then this action should help them. That everyone assumes it won’t shows that we all think Facebook increases their bottom line, not decreases it.