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Meta Begins Blocking News Content in Canada

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, will block news content for users of the platforms in Canada, the company announced Tuesday. 

The block is in response to a new Canadian law, the Online News Act, that requires dominant tech companies, such as Meta and Google, to negotiate with and pay news organizations to distribute their content. 

“In order to comply with the Online News Act, we have begun the process of ending news availability in Canada. These changes start today, and will be implemented for all people accessing Facebook and Instagram in Canada over the course of the next few weeks,” the company said in a blog post

The update comes after Meta threatened to pull news content in the country if Canada’s Online News Act was passed, a playbook the company has used in response to similar proposals in Australia and the U.S. 

Changes could also be coming to Google.

In a blog post, the company said the law is “unworkable,” and Google will remove links to Canadian news from its Search, News and Discover products when the law goes into effect, which is slated to happen by mid-December.

Meta’s Tuesday blog post said the change means news links and content posted by news publishers and broadcasters in Canada will no longer be viewable by users in Canada.

News publishers outside of Canada will continue to be able to post links to content, but users in Canada will not be able to see it. 

Canada’s Online News Act received final approval in June. The proposal aims to level the playing field by allowing publishers to negotiate with tech companies to distribute their content. 

Source : The Hill