**Meta Platforms Blocks News Availability in Canada Over New Law**
Meta Platforms, the California-based company behind Facebook and Instagram, has followed through with its threat to block news on its platforms in Canada. This decision comes after the Canadian government passed the Online News Act, which requires digital platforms to pay local news outlets. The move is expected to take effect before the end of the year.
**Meta Platforms Voices Concerns**
Rachel Curran, Meta Canada’s head of public policy, expressed the company’s concerns about the new law. She stated, “For many months, we have been transparent about our concerns. It is based on the incorrect premise that Meta benefits unfairly from news content shared on our platforms when the reverse is actually true.”
**Impact of the News Ban on Canada**
The news ban on Facebook and Instagram will be rolled out over the next few weeks in Canada. Here’s how it affects different parties:
1. Canadian news publishers and broadcasters: Their news links and content posted on the platforms will no longer be viewable by people in Canada.
2. International news outlets: They can continue to post news links and content, but it will not be viewable by people in Canada.
3. Users in Canada: They will no longer be able to view or share news content on Facebook and Instagram, including articles and audio-visual content from news outlets.
Meta clarified that there will be no changes for users accessing its services from outside of Canada. Canadian residents can still access news online by visiting news websites directly, using mobile news applications, and subscribing to their preferred publishers.
**Meta’s Hope for a Policy Response**
Meta’s Curran expressed hope that the Canadian government would recognize the value the company provides to the news industry. She called for a policy response that upholds the principles of a free and open internet and reflects the interests of the entire Canadian media landscape. Meta believes in championing diversity and innovation.
**Advertising Suspension as Retaliation**
In response to Meta’s plan to block news in Canada, the Canadian government, the Quebec government, and major businesses, including media firm Quebecor Inc., announced the suspension of all advertising on Facebook and Instagram. This decision was taken as a form of retaliation.
Paul Deegan, CEO of News Media Canada, stated, “We expect more and more Canadian governments and corporate advertisers will respond in kind to this unilateral intemperate move to ‘unfriend’ Canada.”