It’s due to Bill C-18, Canada’s law that says platforms must pay for posting news
Have you heard the news about the news?
This week, Meta, Mark Zuckerberg’s company that owns Facebook and Instagram, announced it has now begun “the process of ending news availability in Canada.”
Meta said it will permanently ban Canadian news sites from posting on Instagram and Facebook.
Canadians who use Meta social media platforms will also no longer be able to view or share news content, including articles and videos created by Canadian media organizations like CBC or the Globe and Mail.
Why is this happening?
In June, the Canadian government passed a law called Bill C-18, or the Online News Act.
It required tech companies like Google and Meta to pay media outlets for the content they share on their platforms, which garner thousands of views, likes and engagements.
The bill was created to help media organizations make money.
They no longer get as much revenue from subscribers or advertising as they used to.
Instead of agreeing to pay up, Google and Meta issued statements in June that they would no longer feature Canadian news on their sites and apps.
In July, the federal government stopped advertising on Facebook and Instagram in response to Meta promising to permanently end news availability.
Rachel Curran is Meta’s head of public policy in Canada. She has said that while Meta feels that news has ‘strong social value,’ it does not have as much ‘economic value’ for them. (Image credit: The National/CBC)
While Google has yet to proceed with its ban, Meta announced on Aug. 1 that Canadians will soon no longer be able to view or post news content on Facebook or Instagram.
News outlets, including international ones, will also start having their content blocked on those platforms in Canada.
In a statement made on Aug. 1, Meta refused to back down, writing:
“In the future, we hope the Canadian government will recognize the value we already provide the news industry and consider a policy response that upholds the principles of a free and open internet.”
While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has yet to respond to this most recent statement, he has been vocal in the past about Meta and Google’s “bullying tactics.”
“The fact that these internet giants would rather cut off Canadians’ access to local news than pay their fair share is a real problem,” Trudeau said at a news conference in June.
“We will continue to make sure that these incredibly profitable corporations contribute to strengthening our democracy, not weakening it.”
The law was passed in June but doesn’t come into effect until later this year.
The government has said it’s having conversations with Google about how to reach a compromise.
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With files from The Canadian Press
TOP IMAGE CREDIT: The Associated Press