Thursday, April 18, 2024
Thursday, April 18, 2024
Home » Meta begins blocking news access on its platforms in Canada

Meta begins blocking news access on its platforms in Canada

by Elis Carter
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Meta has begun to remove news content from Facebook and Instagram in Canada, the social media giant said Tuesday, in response to recently passed legislation in the country that requires tech companies to negotiate payments to news organizations for hosting their content.

As a result of the move — which Meta had previously said would occur before the law takes effect — Meta’s Canadian users will no longer be able to click on links to news articles posted to Facebook and Instagram.

The changes began Tuesday and will roll out gradually over the coming weeks, said Meta spokesperson Andy Stone.

The decision comes amid a global debate over the relationship between news organizations and social media companies about the value of news content, and who gets to benefit from it.

Google has also announced that it plans to remove news content from its platforms in Canada when the law takes effect, which could happen by December.

The Canadian legislation, known as Bill C-18, was given final approval in June. It aims to support the sustainability of news organizations by regulating “digital news intermediaries with a view to enhancing fairness in the Canadian digital news marketplace.”

It comes after the passage of a 2021 Australian law that the tech platforms initially opposed by warning it would similarly force them to remove news content. Since then, the platforms have reached voluntary agreements with a range of news outlets in that country.

Like-minded proposals have been introduced around the world amid allegations that the tech industry has decimated local journalism by sucking away billions in online advertising revenues.

In May, Meta also threatened to remove news content from California if the state moved ahead with a revenue-sharing bill. The legislation was put on hold last month.

And at the federal level, the US Senate in June advanced a bill that would grant news organizations the ability to jointly negotiate for a greater share of advertising revenues against online platforms, thanks to a proposed antitrust exemption for publishers and broadcasters.

In a blog post Tuesday, Meta said the Canadian legislation “misrepresents the value news outlets receive when choosing to use our platforms.”

“The legislation is based on the incorrect premise that Meta benefits unfairly from news content shared on our platforms, when the reverse is true,” the blog post said. “News outlets voluntarily share content on Facebook and Instagram to expand their audiences and help their bottom line.”

Canadian users of Meta’s platforms will still be able to access news content online by visiting news outlets’ websites directly or by signing up for their subscriptions and apps.

Source: CNN

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