In response to the newly approved Online News Act, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has declared its intention to prohibit Canadian users from accessing news content on both platforms. This decision is a result of the concerns expressed by Canada’s media industry regarding the disproportionate influence of tech giants in the online advertising sector, causing detrimental effects on news organizations. The legislation has undergone Senate approval and is anticipated to become law following royal assent.
Meta has officially confirmed its decision to discontinue the availability of news content on its platforms, namely Facebook and Instagram, in Canada before implementing the Online News Act. The company has previously stated that news does not hold significant economic value for them and that users primarily utilize their platforms for purposes other than news consumption.
The Online News Act includes provisions that enforce negotiations and compensation between platforms like Facebook and Google and news publishers for the utilization of their content. This approach closely resembles the groundbreaking legislation enacted in Australia in 2021.
However, technology companies in the United States have voiced concerns about the sustainability of the proposed measures for their business operations. In particular, Google has pointed out the broader scope of Canada’s law compared to similar regulations in Australia and Europe. Google has recommended modifying the law so that funding is based on the display of news content rather than links and that eligibility is limited to firms who create news material and adhere to journalistic standards.