The maker of Facebook and Instagram, Meta, has begun to restrict access to news content on its social networking platforms in Canada.
The adjustment will go into effect “over the course of the next few weeks,” Meta stated in a blog post on Tuesday. The change is in reaction to a new law in Canada that mandates digital companies compensate news organizations for utilizing their content. Canadians who use Facebook and Instagram won’t be able to see content posted there by both domestic and foreign news sources.
Approved the Online News Act
In June, Canada approved the Online News Act, joining other nations in trying to compel major social media corporations to pay news organizations. Canadian law mandates that search engines and platforms bargain with news producers to license their content.
In response to Canadian law, Meta had already indicated that it might restrict access to news sources. The organization claimed in a blog post that the Online News Act “misrepresents the value news outlets receive when choosing to use our platforms.”
The blog post argued that news organizations “voluntarily” distribute content to increase their audiences. “The legislation is based on the incorrect premise that Meta benefits unfairly from news content shared on our platforms when the reverse is true,” it stated. In the year leading up to April 2022, Meta claimed to have generated traffic for publishers worth more than 230 million Canadian dollars.
The nation’s minister of Canadian Heritage, Pascale St-Onge, called Meta’s conduct “irresponsible.”
Preventing consumers from receiving high-quality local news
Instead of contributing fairly to news organizations, they would rather prevent their consumers from receiving high-quality local news, according to Ms. St-Onge in a statement posted on Twitter.
The Canadian government, according to Ms. St-Onge, would uphold its position with the new legislation.
Facebook is attempting to communicate with other nations as well, such as New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, she claimed.
Google has also declared its intention to eliminate links to regional Canadian news sources. The company’s worldwide affairs president, Kent Walker, claimed in a blog post on June 29 that the Online News Act was “unworkable” and exposed the business to “uncapped financial liability” by making it pay for displaying links to news articles.
Discontinuing Google News Showcase product
Mr. Walker said Google had informed the Canadian government that it would remove news links as well as discontinue its Google News Showcase product when the law took effect.
The Canadian bill is modeled after a 2021 law passed in Australia, the first country to enact such legislation. At the time, Meta temporarily blocked sharing news links in Australia, before coming to a deal and lifting the ban.
California lawmakers have been considering a bill that would require the tech giants to pay for news, but said last month that it had been shelved for a year. Meta has pushed back forcefully against the bill, known as the California Journalism Preservation Act.