Canadians awoke to some shocking news Tuesday morning as Meta Platforms announced that they would be ending access to news on Facebook and Instagram across the country. The move is a fallout of a controversial legislation passed by Canadian Parliament that would require tech firms like Google parent Alphabet and Meta to negotiate commercial agreements with Canadian news publishers and pay them for their content.
Andy Stone, Meta Platforms’ spokesperson, spoke out on the issue saying “As we’ve always said, the law is based on a fundamentally flawed premise. And, regrettably, the only way we can reasonably comply is to end news availability in Canada” reported Reuters.
As the news spread, many Canadians are outraged with the decision. Some users suspect that it might be met with legal action from some news organizations. The Canadian government has not yet officially responded to Meta Platforms’ announcement, although social media platforms are already flooded with messages from users and news organizations calling on the government to intervene before news becomes inaccessible.
The news is concerning, not only for news organizations in Canada, but for other companies around the world as well. It’s part of a broader global trend to make tech firms pay for news, and could very well set a dangerous precedent if not addressed properly.
Some have suggested that a negotiation process needs to occur between news organizations and tech firms in order to come to an agreement. The talks will involve some tough negotiations, but considering the situation, both parties may be willing to come to a compromise.
As far as Canadians are concerned, only time will tell if they will be able to get access to news on Facebook and Instagram anytime soon. All that’s certain now is that the days of free access are numbered unless substantial changes are made.