Meta to End News Availability in Canada over Online News Act
In a move that could have far-reaching consequences, Facebook parent company Meta Platforms has said it will cease offering news content for Canadians if the country's proposed Online News Act is passed. The bill, which was introduced last April, would require tech giants like Google and Meta to pay news publishers for their content. This has led to an outcry from both sides, with Facebook stating that such a move would not be sustainable or workable.
Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez has expressed disappointment in Facebook’s decision to threaten instead of cooperating with the government. He further clarified that the C-18 bill had nothing to do with how users access news through platforms like Facebook or Google. The news media industry in Canada is seeking greater regulation of tech companies to recoup losses sustained due to increased market share by these companies regarding advertising revenues.
Google also responded by running tests where they limited censorship of certain types of news as a potential answer to this bill – something which will likely further escalate tensions between all sides involved if it is implemented fully, especially now that Facebook too has threatened similar action should the bill pass in its current form.
It remains unclear what impact this move might have on Canadians accessing information through social media platforms since there are still several steps before C-18 becomes law. Only time will tell what approach both parties take regarding this issue. Nevertheless, it certainly appears as though tensions between technology companies and traditional media outlets are set for an ugly showdown over issues related to copyright laws and who should be responsible for paying for access rights in future agreements.