Meta to test limiting news posts on Facebook in Canada


Meta is going to start limiting news posts on Facebook and Instagram in Canada because it just does not want to pay up.

On Thursday, the social media giant basically said it hates Canada’s proposed Online News Act(opens in a new tab) so much that it will test pulling news from their sites across the country. Over the next few weeks, Meta will begin tests on its social media platforms that will limit some users and publishers from viewing and sharing some news content in Canada. The users and publishers affected will be notified, Reuters reported(opens in a new tab).

The Online News Act, introduced last April, intends to “ensure fair revenue sharing between digital platforms and news outlets,” according to the Canadian government(opens in a new tab). Practically, it will require platforms like Meta and Google to pay Canadian news outlets for the content that they put on the social media sites. The argument is that Meta launched social media platforms which disrupted the business models of news outlets — so social media should help fund the now-struggling newsrooms.

Meta and Google are pretty consistent with their responses to these kinds of proposed laws — which have also hit Australia and California. You want them to pay for news? They will simply remove the news altogether. 

“Publishers choose to share their content because it benefits them to do so, whereas it isn’t particularly valuable to us at all. As such, we’ve taken the difficult decision that if this flawed legislation is passed, we will have to end the availability of news content on Facebook and Instagram in Canada.”

This test is part of their response. Of course, the Canadian government isn’t too pleased with this. Google has also rolled out similar tests(opens in a new tab).

“When a big tech company… tells us, ‘If you don’t do this or that, then I’m pulling the plug’ – that’s a threat. I’ve never done anything because I was afraid of a threat,” Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, who introduced the bill, told Reuters(opens in a new tab).

This seems to be one of Meta’s biggest fights at the moment. It comes just days after Meta said it would not publish any news in California if the state passed the California Journalism Preservation Act, a bill that would require tech platforms to give some of the money it makes from advertising to local news outlets.





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