Facebook and Instagram will block access to news on their platforms in Canada after the federal parliament in Ottawa passed a bill forcing major social media companies to pay for press content shared on their platforms, Reuters and the BBC report. .
Both Meta, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram, and Google had already begun testing ways to limit access to news for some Canadians.
In 2021 Facebook blocked its users in Australia from accessing any media content after passing a similar law. Australians then found their news feed empty of any local or international news.
The new law passed by the Canadian parliament on Thursday, called the “Online News Act,” lays out rules that force platforms like Meta and Google to negotiate commercial contracts and pay news organizations for their content.
Meta, Mark Zuckerberg’s new name chosen in 2021 for the company he founded, slammed the Canadian law, saying it is “flawed in a fundamental way that ignores the realities of how our platform works.”
Meta says people aren’t on Facebook for news
The Zuckerberg-led company announced that news will no longer be available to Facebook and Instagram users in Canada before the law takes effect.
“A legislative framework that forces us to pay for links or content that we do not share, and which is not why the vast majority of people use our platforms, is neither sustainable nor workable,” added one carrier by Meta’s word.
Google has in turn criticized the new Canadian legislation, saying that it cannot be implemented in its current form, but that it will try to work together with the Canadian government to find solutions.
A cost analysis by the Canadian parliament estimated that the introduction of the law could cost media organizations up to C$329 million (US$250 million) from digital platforms.
In Australia Facebook stopped blocking news links after talks with the Australian government led to a change in the law.