Meta Platforms, formerly known as Facebook, announced on Thursday that it will block access to news content on Facebook and Instagram for all users in Canada. The decision comes after the country’s parliament passed the Online News Act, a legislation aimed at compelling internet companies to compensate publishers for news content.
The Online News Act received approval from the Senate earlier in the day and is expected to be officially adopted soon. In response, Meta Platforms confirmed that news availability will be terminated on its platforms in Canada prior to the act taking effect.
The legislation outlines regulations that require platforms like Facebook and Google, owned by Alphabet, to engage in negotiations with news publishers and remunerate them for their content. This approach mirrors a pioneering law enacted in Australia in 2021.
US technology companies have expressed concerns about the sustainability of such proposals for their business models. Google, specifically, highlighted that Canada’s law is more stringent compared to similar measures implemented in Australia and Europe. The company has proposed amendments to address its apprehensions.
The move by Meta Platforms to halt news access in Canada reflects the evolving landscape of regulations governing the relationship between tech giants and news publishers. The impact of these developments on the media industry and online information dissemination remains to be seen.