Facebook and Instagram Begin Their Canadian News Blackout

Well, they actually did it. After Months of tense dispute with Canadian lawmakers about a Law forces tech companies to do so pay News publishersMeta implement it consistently threat to cut off Access to News on Facebook and Instagram for of the country 40 million inhabitants.

According to a statement released on Tuesday, Meta will start blocking access to Links and content posted by anyone Canadian News editor At Instagram and Facebook. Canadian-based users of these platforms also do not have access to news links and content published by international providers points of sale. The drastic measures that Meta claims take to comply with Canada’s recently adopted regulations Online News Actamount to almostTotal news ban for Canadians using meta products.

“Almost a year ago, we expressed our concern that the Online News Act would force us to reconsider whether we should continue to allow news content to be shared on our platforms,” ​​Meta said in one blog entry. “We have been transparent and made it clear to the Canadian government that the legislation misrepresents the value that news outlets receive when they choose to use our platforms.”

Canadian lawmakers, on the other hand, show no signs of this to pull back.

“Canada is opposed to Facebook for all the right reasons,” Canadian Culture Minister Pascale St-Onge told Gizmodo. “Facebook is trying to send a message not only to Canada but also to other countries like New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. We will continue to assert ourselves.”

Meta’s messaging restrictions come weeks after Google announced it would Remove Canadian News Links from its search results and other relevant products in response to the law. The federal government of Canada recently rebuffed Meta’s astute threats by announcing it would do so stops all advertising on Facebook and Instagram. Meta did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.

Why is Meta interrupting the news in Canada?

Canada’s Online News Act forces Meta and other internet companies like Google to pay news publishers to access and reproduce their content, as they do when a user posts a link to a news story. Proponents of the law and similar efforts in California And Australia say it’s important to pay back and rebuild the news outlets that have been decimated during the transition from print to digital media.

“Google and Facebook generate 80% of all digital advertising revenue in Canada. Hundreds of newsrooms have now closed,” Minister St Onge said.
“A free and independent press is fundamental to our democracy, and Canadians expect the tech giants to uphold the law in our country.”

Neither Meta nor Google see it that way It. Meta has spent months speaking out against the legislation, which she says is based on the “false premise” that she unduly benefits from news contentent shared on its platform. According to Meta, meeting Canada’s demands and paying the publishers would create an “unworkable” situation for the company.

The Facebook and Instagram parent company even claims that its users “don’t come to us for news”. Research More than half (53%) of Canadians say they use social media to access news. Canadian lawmakers have asked Meta to provide feedback on the legislation, but the company doesn’t seem interested in playing along.

“Unfortunately, while the process of drafting regulations under the Online News Act is still ongoing, this process is unable to make changes to the fundamental features of the legislation that have always been unworkable,” Meta said.

“It’s irresponsible,” said Minister St. Onge. “Facebook knows they have no obligations under the law at this time. They did not participate in the regulatory process.”

Meta draws a line in the sand

Digital News Experts speaking to Gizmodo say Meta is taking a tough stance in Canada to avoid a snowball effect of copycat legislation. cappear all over the world. Canada’s Office of Parliament estimates Together, Google and Facebook would pay approximately CA$329.2 million (about US$242.99 million) annually to news publishers under the Online News Act.

That’s peanuts for a company with a market cap of over $800 billionbut it could cause real problems for Meta’s business if it did has conduct separate negotiations with publishers in hundreds of countries. Meta used the same tactic to temporarily block news access in Australia. with messy resultsbefore the legislature is forced to sit down at the table with more favorable conditions.

“The reason the Internet has grown so much is because it enables free interaction, where people can share things on their own terms and consume on their own terms,” ​​said Andrew Sullivan, president and chief executive officer of the Internet Society said Gizmodo. “In that kind of environment, if you force everyone into a contractual relationship from start to finish, a lot of people just won’t accept the agreement.”

Minister St Onge is now aware that this fight is bigger than Canada. Legislators in California, Brazil and US senators are all considering their own copycat laws that would similarly burden platforms for accessing news content. In California, big tech printing has already thrived prompted lawmakers to press pause on its own Journalism Preservation Act.

“The world is watching Canada,” said St. Onge. “Other countries are considering introducing similar laws to address the same challenges.”

Zack Zwiezen

Zack Zwiezen is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Zack Zwiezen joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing zackzwiezen@ustimespost.com.

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