Meta Confirms Canadians Will Be Blocked From Accessing News on Social Media Due to Passage of Bill C-18

Tech-giant Meta has confirmed that Canadians will lose access to news on its social media sites due to Bill C-18, the Online News Act, becoming law. “We have repeatedly shared that in order to comply with Bill C-18 … content from news outlets, including news publishers and broadcasters, will no longer be available to people accessing our platforms in Canada,” Meta said in a media statement on June 22. The announcement comes a day after the federal government passed Bill C-18, which will require companies like Google and Meta to negotiate deals with Canadian media outlets and pay them for the content they link to on their websites and platforms. The legislation would also give the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission the power to require media organizations to follow a “code of ethics” in order to be eligible for news-sharing negotiations with digital platforms. Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, who is holding last-minute talks with Google on Thursday, said that Facebook knows “very well that they have no obligations under the act right now.” “Following Royal Assent of Bill C-18, the Government will engage in a regulatory and implementation process. If the Government can’t stand up for Canadians against tech giants, who will?” he asked. Kevin Chan, Meta’s global policy director, previously told the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage on May 8 that the legislation put the company in an “unfavourable situation,” as it would have to either “operate in a flawed and unfair regulatory environment,” or end the availability of news content in Canada. “It’s not something we want to do, but it is what we will have to do,” he told the committee. Chan also called the legislation “Robin Hood in reverse,” arguing it would subsidize big broadcasters at the expense of independent publishers and digital news sites, making it more difficult for smaller media outlets to survive. During a press conference on May 9, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the argument Meta had put forth against Bill C-18 was “dangerous to our democracy and to our economy.” “Putting aside the jobs and communities that are supported by local journalism, by professional journalists, understanding what’s going on in the world around us, is an essential service,” he said.

Meta Confirms Canadians Will Be Blocked From Accessing News on Social Media Due to Passage of Bill C-18

Tech-giant Meta has confirmed that Canadians will lose access to news on its social media sites due to Bill C-18, the Online News Act, becoming law.

“We have repeatedly shared that in order to comply with Bill C-18 … content from news outlets, including news publishers and broadcasters, will no longer be available to people accessing our platforms in Canada,” Meta said in a media statement on June 22.

The announcement comes a day after the federal government passed Bill C-18, which will require companies like Google and Meta to negotiate deals with Canadian media outlets and pay them for the content they link to on their websites and platforms.

The legislation would also give the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission the power to require media organizations to follow a “code of ethics” in order to be eligible for news-sharing negotiations with digital platforms.

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, who is holding last-minute talks with Google on Thursday, said that Facebook knows “very well that they have no obligations under the act right now.”

“Following Royal Assent of Bill C-18, the Government will engage in a regulatory and implementation process. If the Government can’t stand up for Canadians against tech giants, who will?” he asked.

Kevin Chan, Meta’s global policy director, previously told the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage on May 8 that the legislation put the company in an “unfavourable situation,” as it would have to either “operate in a flawed and unfair regulatory environment,” or end the availability of news content in Canada.

“It’s not something we want to do, but it is what we will have to do,” he told the committee.

Chan also called the legislation “Robin Hood in reverse,” arguing it would subsidize big broadcasters at the expense of independent publishers and digital news sites, making it more difficult for smaller media outlets to survive.

During a press conference on May 9, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the argument Meta had put forth against Bill C-18 was “dangerous to our democracy and to our economy.”

“Putting aside the jobs and communities that are supported by local journalism, by professional journalists, understanding what’s going on in the world around us, is an essential service,” he said.