Meta Officially Begins Process Of Ending News Access For Canadians

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Lorenzo Prieto Contributor
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Facebook parent company Meta on Tuesday announced it would begin removing news across all of its platforms in Canada, according to Reuters.

Google parent Alphabet and Meta platforms — such as Instagram and Facebook — would begin to block access to news for all users in Canada due to the Online News Act, which the Canadian government passed June 22, 2023, Reuters reported. The law, also known as Bill C-18, “establishes a mandatory arbitration framework when digital platforms and news outlets cannot reach commercial agreements.”

“News outlets voluntarily share content on Facebook and Instagram to expand their audiences and help their bottom line,” Meta’s public policy manager in Canada, Rachel Curran, said, according to the outlet. “In contrast, we know the people using our platforms don’t come to us for news.” (RELATED: Millions Of Users Abandon Mark Zuckerberg’s Latest Toy Just Two Weeks After Launch)

Australia passed a similar law in 2021. The move first garnered dissent from both Google and Meta, which threatened to stop their services, according to Reuters. The two companies eventually closed a deal with the Australian government after considering amendments to the legislation.

Meta and Google complained the Canadian bill is much stricter than the legislation enacted in Europe and Australia, as it would put a price on news links appearing in the search result and sources that do not produce news content, Reuters reported. Meta made the case that news articles compensate for less than three percent of all the content users search on its platforms and that such articles are not a profitable source of income.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called such an argument “dangerous to our democracy, to our economy,” Reuters reported.