Meta to block news access for Facebook and Instagram users in Canada

Meta announced that it would block access to news posts on its platforms in Canada after the country passed Bill C-18, or the Online News Act, a law that would require tech companies to pay media outlets a fee for news content. 

“We have repeatedly shared that in order to comply with Bill C-18, passed today in Parliament, content from news outlets, including news publishers and broadcasters, will no longer be available to people accessing our platforms in Canada,” the parent company of Facebook and Instagram said in a statement.

Skip advert

The new law is just one part of a “broad and contentious effort” by the government to “regulate the digital sphere and circumscribe the power of tech giants,” The Washington Post reported. Last year, another law requiring streaming platforms to promote Canadian content to users in Canada drew similar criticism from the companies. Governments around the world are considering similar proposals aimed at sustaining “floundering news industries” by requiring social media companies to figure out how to compensate media organizations for the content circulating on their platforms. Media companies argue that their revenue from advertising has been plummeting since “the rise of the internet and firms such as Facebook and Google” and believe the tech firms should share some of their revenue, the Post explained. 

Canada’s law was modeled after a similar one that passed in Australia in 2021, and a similar bill is currently being considered in California. Meta has also threatened to pull news content if California passes the law and briefly followed through on the threat in Australia, blocking users from viewing news content from feeds on Facebook. After a week of backlash, Meta reversed their decision after the government amended the law to give the platform two months to negotiate with domestic news outlets.

Skip advert


Share This Post

Post Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.