Meta (formerly Facebook) has announced that it will no longer provide access to news stories on its platforms in Canada. This decision comes as a direct consequence of the passage of Bill C-18, known as the Online News Act.

The C-18 bill requires social media giants to compensate news outlets for using their articles. Meta had previously warned that it would halt the dissemination of news content if the bill became law, and with its impending Royal Assent, the company is making good on its promise.

According to a statement released by Meta, compliance with Bill C-18 means that “content from news outlets, including news publishers and broadcasters, will no longer be available to people accessing our platforms in Canada.” This move will undoubtedly impact how Canadian users consume news on Facebook and Instagram, limiting their access to articles and updates from trusted news sources.

Furthermore, the repercussions of Meta’s decision extend beyond its platforms. Canadians may lose news content from Google searches if the search engine giant follows Meta’s lead. To prevent this outcome, Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriquez engaged in discussions with Google on Thursday, seeking to safeguard access to news content through the search engine.

While the revenue-sharing provisions outlined in Bill C-18 do not apply if Meta and Google choose to remove news content altogether, Minister Rodriquez expressed his view that Meta’s current action of blocking news content is premature, as the bill has yet to receive Royal Assent. He emphasized the importance of the government standing up for Canadians against powerful tech giants and highlighted that Facebook is not obligated to comply with the law.

The passage of Bill C-18 and Meta’s subsequent decision to halt news content delivery underscores the ongoing struggle to strike a balance between the interests of social media platforms and the news industry.

¬†Canada’s news consumption landscape may transform significantly as the government moves forward with regulatory and implementation processes following Royal Assent.

Sarah Michelle is a passionate writer and digital strategist interested in the evolving landscape of online content and user experience. Having closely followed the developments in digital marketing and search algorithms, Sarah brings a unique blend of insights into the marketing world and is committed to helping both creators and consumers navigate the digital realm with confidence.

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