3rd Aug’23, New Jersey: In a blog post on Tuesday, Meta said the Canadian legislation “misrepresents the value news outlets receive when choosing to use our platforms.”
“The legislation is based on the incorrect premise that Meta benefits unfairly from news content shared on our platforms when the reverse is true,” the blog post said. “News outlets voluntarily share content on Facebook and Instagram to expand their audiences and help their bottom line.”
Canadian users of Meta’s platforms will still be able to access news content online by visiting news outlets’ websites directly or by signing up for their subscriptions and apps.
Canada has recently passed legislation requiring tech companies like Meta (formerly Facebook) to negotiate payments with news organizations for hosting their content on their platforms. In response to this new law, Meta has begun to remove news content from Facebook and Instagram for Canadian users. This means that Canadian users will no longer be able to click on links to news articles posted on these social media platforms.
The move comes amidst a more significant global debate on the relationship between news organizations and social media companies regarding the value of news content and who should benefit from it. Google has also announced its plans to remove news content from its platforms in Canada when the law comes into effect.
The Canadian legislation, known as Bill C-18, aims to support the sustainability of news organizations by regulating digital news intermediaries to enhance fairness in the Canadian digital news marketplace. This follows a similar law in Australia, where tech platforms have reached voluntary agreements with news outlets after initial opposition.
Around the world, there have been similar proposals to address the impact of tech platforms on local journalism and advertising revenues. Meta had also previously threatened to remove news content from California if a revenue-sharing bill was passed while the US Senate is considering a bill that would allow news organizations to negotiate for a greater share of advertising revenues against online platforms.
The changes in Canada highlight the ongoing challenges and discussions regarding the relationship between tech companies and news organizations and how to ensure fair compensation for news content on digital platforms.