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News Content Could Vanish From Meta in Canada

Meta is threatening to remove news content from Facebook and Instagram in Canada if proposed legislation meant to establish a “fair revenue sharing” system becomes law.

Why we care. Any publishers that rely on traffic, engagement or brand awareness from Meta properties could see a significant loss if news content is blocked from being shared.

What Meta said. “We will have to end the availability of news content on Facebook and Instagram in Canada,” according to Nick Clegg, president of global affairs at Meta. Calling it “flawed legislation,” he added that this would make Canada the “first democracy to put a price on free links to web pages, which flies in the face of global norms,” Bloomberg reported. 

Meta threatened to remove news from its platform last year due to U.S. legislation that would have let news companies collectively negotiate with social platforms over the terms on which their material appears on their sites. Facebook also had a separate standoff with Australia in 2021.

Online News Act. Known as Bill C-18, it “proposes a regime to regulate digital platforms that act as intermediaries in Canada’s news media ecosystem in order to enhance fairness in the Canadian digital news market,” according to the Government of Canada site.

Google already limited access to news in Canada. Earlier this year, Google tested blocking news across all Canadian publisher websites, in Google Search, Google Discover and other Google surfaces. This test was limited to less than 4% of Canadians. A Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land in Februrary that this was a “potential product response to Bill C-18.”

Source: Search Engine Land



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