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Business News/ News / World/  Canadians can't read news on Facebook and Instagram - here's why
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Canadians can't read news on Facebook and Instagram - here's why

Meta blocks Canadians' access to news on Facebook and Instagram in response to a new law requiring payment to publishers.

Meta blocks Canadians' access to news on Facebook and Instagram in response to new law requiring payment to publishers.Premium
Meta blocks Canadians' access to news on Facebook and Instagram in response to new law requiring payment to publishers.

In Canada, people will not be able to read news on Facebook and Instagram as Meta has started blocking Canadians' access to news on these social media platforms, the company said on Tuesday. This came in response to a new law requiring digital giants to pay publishers for such content, according to a report published by AFP. 

In an official statement, Meta said, “News links and content posted by news publishers and broadcasters in Canada will no longer be viewable by people in Canada."

Canadian Facebook and Instagram user will not be able to view news posted on foreign sites, the company said, adding that they will no longer be able to share articles on the two platforms.

Meta informed that it started implementing changes on Tuesday and cover the whole country in the next few weeks, AFP reported. 

However, an AFP reporter was still able to see news on Facebook yesterday, but some users reported already getting messages saying such content was being blocked.

Another critic of the Online News Act, Google is also considering a similar move. The Online News Act builds on similar legislation introduced in Australia which aims to support a struggling Canadian news sector. 

In October 2022, a report by Canada's parliamentary budget watchdog estimated that the legislation could see Canadian newspapers receive about Can$330 million (US$250 million) per year from digital platforms.

“The bill is flawed and based on the incorrect premise that Meta benefits unfairly from news content shared on our platforms when the reverse is true," Meta said as quoted by AFP. 

It added that news outlets share content on Facebook and Instagram to help their own bottom line, they don't come to the social media platforms for news. 

Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge called the move to block news "irresponsible," noting that 80 percent of all online advertising revenues in Canada go to Meta and Google.

"A free and independent press is fundamental to our democracy. Other countries are considering introducing similar legislation “to tackle the same challenges," she said.  

 

(With AFP inputs)

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Published: 02 Aug 2023, 08:02 AM IST
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