Canada criticizes Facebook for blocking information on wildfires

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused Facebook on Monday (8/21) local time of prioritizing profits over people’s safety during the emergency created by the fires.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, announced earlier this summer that it would keep its promise to block news content from Canada on its platform, due to a new law requiring tech giants to pay publishers to link to or reuse their online content. .

Fires raging across Canada have driven tens of thousands of people from their homes and threatened cities like Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories. About 30,000 people are under evacuation orders in British Columbia.

“Today, in an emergency where up-to-date local information is more important than ever, Facebook is putting corporate profits ahead of people’s safety,” Trudeau said at a news conference in Cornwall, in Prince Edward Island.

“It is simply inconceivable that a company like Facebook would choose to put corporate profits ahead of ensuring that local news organizations can provide up-to-date information to Canadians,” the Prime Minister said.

The government asked Meta on Friday (18/8) to lift the ban on Canadian news, which applies to local media as well as national media such as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The company, headquartered in Northern California, supported the decision and said in a statement on the wildfires that Canadians can continue to use Instagram and Facebook “to connect with their communities and access information reliable, including content from authoritative institutions, government, emergency services. and non-governmental organizations.

But Canadian residents and visitors are still unable to view or share news on Meta’s social media channels, including news articles, videos and audio files published by media outlets in Canada or abroad.

Matilda Baker

"Evil pop culture fanatic. Extreme bacon geek. Food junkie. Thinker. Hipster-friendly travel nerd. Coffee buff."

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