Canada’s public broadcaster, CBC/Radio-Canada, has issued a public statement blasting Meta for its decision to block Canadian news content on its Facebook and Instagram social media platforms in Canada, calling the decision “unjust” and “an abuse of their market power.”
In June, the Canadian parliament passed the Online News Act, which requires tech giants like Meta and Google to negotiate deals for news content.
Tech giants who have been able to use news content for free in their search engines and social media platforms to help build businesses valued at hundreds of billions of dollars have furiously attacked the law and threatened to remove news content rather than pay for it. Both Google and Meta have said they will remove the content.
On August 1, Meta announced that it would begin a process to block Canadian news content from their Facebook and Instagram platforms in Canada. The changes are expected to roll out over the new few weeks.
“Today we've begun the process of ending news availability in Canada. Changes will roll out over a few weeks,” a Meta spokesperson posted on the X (formerly Twitter) platform. “As we've always said, the law is based on a fundamentally flawed premise. And, regrettably, the only way we can reasonably comply is to end news availability in Canada.”
In response, the CBC said “this means that people in Canada who have come to rely on these platforms to find and access news and information about their country are now left with only unverified sources in their feeds. This problem is particularly acute in Canada’s North, for Francophones in minority language communities, and for people in rural communities who depend more on Facebook for news.”
“Meta’s move to deny Canadians access to domestic sources of trusted news and verified information — especially at a time when Canadians are depending on it to stay safe from the harmful effects of unprecedented weather events across much of the country — is irresponsible and an abuse of their market power,” the CBC continued. “CBC/Radio-Canada joins all Canadian media organizations who are calling on Meta to act responsibly by restoring Canadians’ access to news — all news, from all outlets, both public and private — and by negotiating with Canadian media organizations to compensate them for their news content.”
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.