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Canada’s New Law May Lead To News Blocked On Facebook, Instagram

 |  March 12, 2023

Canada’s proposed Online News Act is raising concerns among news outlets as it could severely limit access to their content on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Canadian citizens may no longer be able to benefit from news-sharing services offered by these outlets if the bill passes in its current form, according to Meta, Reuters reported.

Meta spokesperson Lisa Laventure shared the decision in an email on Saturday, saying the bill’s current provisions would place the company in an untenable position.

“A legislative framework that compels us to pay for links or content that we do not post, and which are not the reason the vast majority of people use our platforms, is neither sustainable nor workable,” she wrote.

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Tech companies such as Meta and Google have communicated their concerns with the proposed law known as Bill C-18. The bill would potentially mandate digital giants to enter into negotiations in order to compensate Canadian media companies for utilizing their content online, be it through linking or other methods of reuse.

Large Canadian media companies and the federal Liberal government have supported the bill, saying it would level the playing field for news outlets that compete with tech firms for advertising dollars.

 Meta has since threatened to block news access in other countries such as the United States, where Congress was considering similar legislation last year known as the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act.

For some time, Facebook has been considering blocking news access in Canada based on the anticipated outcome of Bill C-18. As the bill moved through parliament, Facebook assessed the potential implications to their business model.