Meta says it isn’t negotiating with the federal government about Bill C-18 since the legislation “doesn’t allow for negotiations outside the framework of the legislation.”
The comments came from Meta Canada’s head of public policy, Rachel Curran, in an interview with CBC’s Power and Politics on Tuesday (via the National Post). Curran went on to say that Meta is going forward with its plans to block news content on its platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, in Canada.
“We are proceeding towards ending the availability of news permanently in Canada. We wish we weren’t here, but we are here, and there is really nothing at this point that’s going to alter that trajectory,” Curran said.
Bill C-18, called the Online News Act, received royal assent last week. It’s set to force big tech companies like Meta and Google to make deals with news publishers to share revenue with them for news stories that appear on the companies’ platforms. By removing news content, the companies would no longer be subject to the legislation.
While perhaps well-intentioned, the legislation ultimately seems focused on the wrong issues. For example, the bill doesn’t attempt to deal with the monopoly Google and Meta hold over the online advertising market — many news organizations rely on advertising to fund their work.
Curran went on to say that Meta would only reconsider removing news if the government were to amend or repeal Bill C-18.
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Source: National Post