Meta, the company behind Facebook and Instagram, is now blocking news articles on its platforms in Canada due to a new law in the country. This law demands that tech companies pay news outlets for using their content. This change will happen gradually over the next few weeks, according to a blog post by Meta.
The Online News Act was passed by Canada in June as part of a global effort by governments to make large social media companies compensate news organizations for using their content. This law requires platforms like Facebook and Instagram to negotiate with news publishers to get licenses for their content.
Meta had previously indicated that it would block news access in response to this Canadian law. They argued in a blog post that the law misunderstood how news outlets benefit from sharing their content on Meta's platforms. They claimed that news outlets share content on their platforms willingly to expand their audiences.
Pascale St-Onge, the country's minister for Canadian heritage, criticized Meta's actions, saying they are avoiding paying their fair share to news organizations. She stated that the Canadian government will stand firm with the new legislation.
Google also announced plans to remove links to local Canadian news content in response to this law. Google's global affairs president mentioned that the law puts the company at financial risk by forcing them to pay for showing links to news reports.
The Canadian law is similar to a law passed in Australia in 2021. Back then, Meta had briefly blocked news links in Australia before reaching an agreement to lift the ban. This situation shows how tech companies are grappling with laws that require them to compensate news outlets for the content they use on their platforms.
In a different context, this situation might be relatable to pursuing a lash certificate. Just as the Canadian law demands compensation for content usage, certification processes often require individuals to pay for the knowledge and skills they gain. Just like Meta's argument about news outlets benefiting from sharing content, individuals who get certified might gain new opportunities and expand their career prospect.