Meta will block access to news on Facebook and Instagram in Canada due to the passing of the Online News Act, which requires tech companies to pay domestic media outlets for 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,” Meta, Facebook’s parent company, said in a statement CNBC.
After the decision of Parliament, the company mentioned that they are conducting tests for several weeks to end news access in Canada.
Following a law passed in Australia last year, digital platforms like Facebook and Google are now required to pay domestic media outlets for content linked in search or feeds. In response, Meta has taken a similar approach in Canada by blocking users from accessing or sharing news content on Facebook. Some pages for hospitals and emergency services have also reportedly been blocked.
After a week, Meta reached an agreement with the Australian government through changes to the law that grants tech companies a two-month period to discuss with media outlets.
California lawmakers have proposed a bipartisan bill that would mandate digital platforms to compensate news outlets for hosting their content. If passed into law, platforms with a minimum of 50 million monthly active U.S. users, a billion worldwide active users or U.S. net annual sales or market cap exceeding $550 billion would be required to pay eligible media outlets for hosting their content.
Meta announced that if the law in California is passed, they will remove news from their platforms, as they have done in Canada.
Meta stated that although the product tests are temporary, they plan to permanently discontinue the availability of news content in Canada after the passage of Bill C-18.