Meta will close news access to Canadian Facebook and Instagram users

Meta has decided to block access to news content for social media users under its auspices, Facebook and Instagram, after the Canadian Senate approved the Online News Act bill on Thursday (22/ 6).

“We confirm that news availability will end on Facebook and Instagram for our users in Canada before the Online News Act (Bill C-18) comes into force,” Meta wrote in a post. 'announcement cited by Tech Crunch, Saturday (24/6).

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“We have repeatedly said that to comply with Bill C-18, content from media outlets, including publishers and news broadcasters, will no longer be available to users accessing our platforms in Canada,” he added.

The Online News Act requires news and social media platforms such as Google and Facebook to negotiate commercial deals and pay news publishers for their content.

Once the Online Information Act has been approved by the Senate, approval of the Act will be sought from the Governor General as a final step for ratification.

Meta has expressed opposition to the Online News Act since the law was first submitted to the Senate in 2021. Last year, Meta threatened to block news content in Canada unless the Senate does not amend the controversial bill.

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Meta's attitude became even more serious when the Mark Zuckerberg-led company tested limiting access to information to some of its social media users in Canada.

Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez responded to Meta's actions in a tweet on Twitter on Thursday (6/22).

“Facebook knows full well that it has no obligations under current law. Following the approval of Bill #C18, the government will be involved in the regulatory and implementation process. If the government can't defend Canadians against tech giants, who will? wrote Pablo.

Besides Facebook, Google has also expressed a similar attitude and action, with the tech giant also blocking access to news content for some of its users in Canada.

“At every stage, we have proposed thoughtful and pragmatic solutions that will improve the Bill (Online Information Act) and pave the way for us to increase our already significant investment in the information ecosystem Canadian,” Google said in a statement.

The online news law that Canada will pass is similar to the law that Australia passed in 2021. Meta briefly blocked news content in that country, but reopened access after the Australian government agreed to change the law.

The amendment gives Meta more time to negotiate with news publishers in Australia.

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Matilda Baker

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

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