Facebook and Instagram will limit access to news in Canada.

Following the passage of a contentious internet news measure in parliament, Meta has announced that it will begin to restrict news on its platforms to Canadian consumers.

The bill requires large platforms to pay news publishers for content placed on their websites.

Both Meta and Google have already experimented with limiting access to news for select Canadians.

In reaction to a similar rule, Australian users were barred from posting or reading news on Facebook in 2021.

The Online News Act of Canada, which passed the Senate on Thursday, establishes laws that require platforms like as Meta and Google to make commercial partnerships and pay news organizations for their material.

The law has been described as “fundamentally flawed legislation that ignores the realities of how our platforms work” by Meta.

It said on Thursday that news availability on Facebook and Instagram will be discontinued for all Canadian users – before the bill goes into force.

“A legislative framework that compels us to pay for links or content that we do not post, and which are not the reason the vast majority of people use our platforms, is neither sustainable nor workable,” a Meta spokeswoman told Reuters.

The business stated that the modifications to news would not affect other services for Canadian users.

Google called the bill’s current shape “unworkable,” and said it was looking to collaborate with the government to find a “path forward.”

According to the federal government, the online news law is required “to enhance fairness in the Canadian digital news market” and to help struggling news organizations to “secure fair compensation” for news and links published on the platforms.

According to an independent parliament budget watchdog’s examination of the measure, news organizations might receive approximately C$329 million ($250 million; £196 million) every year from digital platforms.

Earlier this month, Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez told Reuters that the tech platforms’ testing were “unacceptable” and posed a “threat.”

After discussions with the government resulted in modifications, Facebook restored news content to its users in Australia.

Mr Rodriguez’s office said on Thursday that he had spoken with Google and Facebook this week and planned further conversations, but that the government will proceed with the bill’s implementation.

“Who will stand up for Canadians against tech behemoths if the government won’t?” he added in a statement.

The bill’s passing was lauded by media industry groups as a step toward market fairness.

“Real journalism, created by real journalists, continues to be demanded by Canadians and is vital to our democracy, but it costs real money,” said Paul Deegan, president and CEO of News Media Canada, a media industry group, in a statement.

The Online News Act will go into effect in Canada in six months.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *