Meta has announced that it will be removing news from Facebook and Instagram in Canada, in a move that has major implications for the news industry in the country.
The move is in response to the Online News Act, which was passed by the Canadian government in June 2022. The law requires tech giants like Meta to pay news outlets for their content.
Meta has said that it believes the law is unfair and that it benefits news outlets more than it does Meta. The company argues that it already provides significant value to news outlets by driving traffic to their websites and giving them a platform to reach a wider audience.
“We believe the Online News Act is fundamentally flawed and that it will have a negative impact on the ability of Canadians to access news,” said Meta spokesperson Andy Stone. “We are therefore removing news from Facebook and Instagram in Canada.”
The federal government has defended the law, saying that it is necessary to create a level playing field between online advertising giants and the shrinking news industry. The government has said that since 2008, close to 500 media outlets in 335 communities across Canada have closed, with more than 20,000 journalists losing their job.
“We are committed to ensuring that news outlets are fairly compensated for their content,” said Canadian Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge. “The Online News Act is a critical step in protecting the future of journalism in Canada.”
CBC/Radio-Canada, Canada’s public broadcaster, has called Meta’s move “irresponsible and an abuse of market power.” The company says that the removal of news from Facebook and Instagram will leave Canadians with fewer sources of information and make it more difficult for them to stay informed about current events.
“This is a dark day for Canadian journalism,” said CBC/Radio-Canada CEO Catherine Tait. “Meta’s decision to pull news from its platforms is a cynical attempt to bully the government into changing the law.”
It remains to be seen how the Canadian government will respond to Meta’s move. The law is not yet in effect, and the government has said that it is open to discussing changes to the legislation. However, the government has also said that it is committed to ensuring that news outlets are fairly compensated for their content.
The removal of news from Facebook and Instagram will have a major impact on the news industry in Canada. It is estimated that the law could generate up to $300 million in new revenue for news outlets. However, it is also possible that the law could lead to less news being shared on social media, which could have a negative impact on the reach of news outlets.
The next few months will be critical in determining the future of the news industry in Canada. The Canadian government will need to decide whether to change the Online News Act, and Meta will need to decide whether to continue to challenge the law in court. The outcome of these decisions will have a major impact on the ability of Canadians to access news and information.
This is a major development in the battle between tech giants and the news industry. Meta’s decision to pull news from Facebook and Instagram is a clear sign that the company is not willing to pay for news content. This could have a major impact on the news industry in Canada, and it will be interesting to see how the Canadian government responds.