It has been reported that Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is blocking news in Canada as a response to the recently passed Online News Act. This legislation requires technology giants to pay news publishers for their content. The law was approved by the Canadian parliament last year.
Meta will block news on Facebook and Instagram for all users in Canada
Meta plans to restrict all news content on Facebook and Instagram in Canada. This decision comes in response to the new Online News Act, which requires tech giants like Google and Meta to pay Canadian news publishers for their content. The act was passed by the Canadian parliament in June 2022 and mandates that the platforms must negotiate commercial agreements with the publishers.
In order to comply with the Online News Act, we have begun the process of ending news availability in Canada. These changes start today, and will be implemented for all people accessing Facebook and Instagram in Canada over the course of the next few weeks.
The Canadian government promptly criticized the action as “irresponsible” and emphasized that the global community is closely observing the situation unfolding in Canada.
According to the Canadian government, implementing this law is crucial in ensuring that news publishers receive proper compensation for their content. The government has also stated that the law will not hinder innovation, but instead, help foster a thriving news ecosystem in Canada. Meta, on the other hand, believes that the law is unjust and could potentially stifle innovation.
According to Meta, news links make up less than 3% of the content found on their users’ feeds, and they believe that news does not hold much economic value.
News censorship in Canada is now a critical conflict between media companies and tech giants. The law has received criticism from some free speech advocates who fear it may lead to censorship. However, the government claims that the law is crucial to safeguard the sustainability of the news industry.
The duration of Meta’s news block in Canada remains uncertain. Although the company has expressed openness to discussing with the government, it has not confirmed if it will comply with the law’s conditions. This news block poses a significant challenge for the struggling news industry as it attempts to adjust to the digital era. While the law was intended to aid news publishers, its effectiveness remains uncertain.