Canadian access to news stories on Facebook and Instagram will be terminated as Meta, the parent company, has decided to comply with a new law requiring payment to news outlets to use their articles.
The Online News Act, also known as Bill C-18, has successfully passed through the Canadian House of Commons and Senate and is awaiting Royal Assent to become law, reported by Reuters. In response to this legislation, Meta has declared that it will cease the distribution of news content on its platforms.
In an official statement, Meta Platforms expressed its position, stating, “We have consistently communicated that, to abide by Bill C-18… content sourced from news publishers and broadcasters will no longer be accessible to users in Canada.”
This move by Meta has the potential to impact news content available through Google searches as well, should the search engine giant choose to follow suit. To prevent such a situation, Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriquez engaged in discussions with Google on Thursday, as reported by the National Post.
It is important to note that the revenue-sharing provisions outlined in Bill C-18 will not be applicable if Meta and Google opt to remove news content entirely. However, Rodriquez emphasized that Meta is not obligated to block news content since the bill has yet received Royal Assent.
The Canadian Government asserts that it is only fair for prominent social media platforms to contribute a portion of their revenue derived from news content obtained from news outlets.
Rodriquez voiced his concerns on Twitter, stating, “Facebook knows very well that they have no obligations under the act right now. Following the Royal Assent of Bill #C18, the Government will conduct a regulatory and implementation process. If the Government can’t stand up for Canadians against tech giants, who will?”
This remark underscores the Government’s commitment to safeguarding the interests of Canadian citizens and addressing the influence of technology giants within the media landscape.