Meta is blocking some Canadians from accessing news content on Instagram and Facebook under a new test in response to Bill C-18.
Known as the Online News Act, it will require platforms like Meta and Google to pay publishers for posting news content. The companies have long opposed the bill, and Meta previously confirmed it would permanently block news access if the bill becomes law.
“The Online News Act is fundamentally flawed legislation that ignores the realities of how our platforms work, the preferences of the people who use them, and the value we provide news publishers,” the company wrote in a blog post.
Current testing, which Meta calls ” a common industry practice,” will impact Canadians and non-Canadian news outlets and applies to both users and publishers.
Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez called the testing “unacceptable.”
“When a big tech company, no matter their size, no matter the amount of money and the powerful lawyers they have, comes here and tells us, ‘if you don’t do this or that, then I’m pulling the plug’ — that’s a threat and is unacceptable.”
I’ve never done anything because I was afraid of a threat, and I never will. (2/2)
— Pablo Rodriguez (@pablorodriguez) June 2, 2023
Meta didn’t share specific dates for its test but did say it will “run for several weeks.”