Following the passage of a contentious internet news bill by parliament, Meta has announced that it will start limiting news on its platforms to Canadian consumers.
The legislation mandates that major platforms pay news publishers for the content posted on their websites.
Both Meta and Google have already conducted tests limiting some Canadians’ access to news.
Due to similar regulations, Australian users were prohibited from posting or reading news on Facebook in 2021.
The Online News Act of Canada passed the senate on Thursday, establishing guidelines that mandate companies like Meta and Google to make business agreements and compensate news organizations for their material.
“Fundamentally flawed legislation that ignores the realities of how our platforms work” is how Meta has described the law.
On Thursday, it announced that all Canadian users could no longer access news on Facebook and Instagram until the bill became law.
According to a spokeswoman for Meta, “A legislative framework that requires us to pay for links or content that we do not post and that are not the primary reasons most users access our platforms is neither sustainable nor workable.”
Google deemed the legislation “unworkable” in its current form and stated it sought to collaborate with the government to find a “path forward.”
According to the federal government, the online news law is essential “to enhance fairness in the Canadian digital news market” and to enable financially strained news organizations to “secure fair compensation” for news and links posted on the platforms.
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According to an independent budget watchdog’s examination of the measure, news organizations might receive around C$329 million ($250 million; £196 million) per year from digital platforms.
After discussions with the government resulted in changes, Facebook in Australia again gave users access to news content.
According to a statement from Mr. Rodriguez’s office on Thursday, the government will go through with the bill’s implementation. The information added that he had meetings with Google and Facebook this week and planned additional conversations.
In response to the Online News Act, Meta has declared that it will prohibit news from Canada:
Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has announced it will no longer permit the sharing and accessing news copy on its platforms. This will take effect before Parliament legislates Bill C-18, the Online News Act.https://t.co/CGcunyUJ7V
— Rebel News Canada (@RebelNews_CA) June 22, 2023
He stated in a statement, “If the government can’t defend Canadians against tech titans, who will?”
Media industry associations lauded the bill’s passing as a step towards market fairness.
“Real journalism, created by real journalists, continues to be demanded by Canadians and is vital to our democracy, but it costs real money,” said Paul Deegan, president, and CEO of News Media Canada, a media industry group, in a statement.
In Canada, the Online News Act is anticipated to go into force in six months.