Facebook and Instagram users in Canada will soon have restricted access to news content on both platforms after parliament passed a controversial online news bill. The new law requires big tech platforms like Meta and Google to pay news publishers for their content, which the companies say is “unworkable.” In this article, we’ll explore how the Canadian Online News Act could impact social media giants’ operations in Canada. Meta and Google Limit News Access in Canada!
New Law Forces Platforms to Compensate Publishers
The Canadian Online News Act requires digital platforms operating in Canada to negotiate commercial deals with publishers and compensate them for using their content. It aims at enhancing fairness in the Canadian digital news market while allowing struggling publishers to secure fair compensation for their work.
Meta has been testing limiting access to news in some regions of Canada, but it says that ending availability altogether is necessary due to the legislation’s fundamental flaws. The company argues that paying for links or contents that they do not post nor are reasons why people use its platform is neither sustainable nor workable.
Google also called the bill unworkable and expressed interest in working towards finding a path forward with governmental authorities.
Impact on Social Media Users
Accordingly, Facebook announced plans last Thursday to restrict access by ending all availability of news on its platforms before Bill C-10 takes effect effectively. However, these changes won’t affect other services provided by Facebook and Instagram users across Canada.
These moves reflect similar actions taken by Facebook when Australian users were blocked from sharing or viewing any content related to media outlets following Australia’s adoption of similar laws earlier this year.
Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez criticized these tests as unacceptable threats against democracy earlier this month. He met with representatives from both Google and Facebook over recent weeks but insisted he would move ahead regardless of opposition from either firm if necessary since he believes it’s crucial that tech giants contribute fairly towards compensating struggling local journalists who produce original journalism every day.
Future of News on Social Media
The Online News Act is expected to take effect in Canada within six months, and media industry groups have hailed its passing as a significant step towards market fairness. The law could potentially provide news businesses with approximately C250m; £196m) annually from digital platforms.
Real journalism created by professional journalists continues to be demanded by Canadians and is vital for democracy, but it costs real money. According to Paul Deegan, president, and CEO of News Media Canada, the bill’s passage marks an important milestone that would help ensure Canadian publishers receive compensation for their work in the face of competition from tech giants.
In conclusion, while social media companies like Meta may argue against paying for content they don’t post or are not reasons why people use their platforms, governments worldwide are starting to demand more accountability when it comes to compensating struggling news organizations. It remains unclear how these laws will impact social media operations worldwide and whether similar legislation will be passed elsewhere in the future.
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