People in Canada can no longer access news content on Meta’s platforms

The ban applies to articles and audio-visual content from news outlets

Meta logo on sign

Meta has begun the process of ending news availability for Canadians.

The company first announced it would end access following the passage of Bill C-18 in June. The Online News Act will require Meta and Google to pay Canadian publishers for sharing their content on their respective platforms.

The move means people in Canada won’t be able to view links Canadian or international publishers and broadcasters share.

The process will be permanent, Rachel Curran, the head of public policy at Meta Canada, said in a statement.

“For many months, we have been transparent about our concerns with the Online News Act. It is based on the incorrect premise that Meta benefits unfairly from news content shared on our platforms, when the reverse is actually true.

Meta says it’s using definitions and guidance from the Online News Act to identify impacted news outlets. Several publications have taken to social media to share they’ve been impacted by the move, including smaller organizations like Canadian Jewish News and The Rover.

“News outlets voluntarily share content on Facebook and Instagram to expand their audiences and help their bottom line. In contrast, we know the people using our platforms don’t come to us for news,” Curran said.

The move follows the federal government’s decision to pull advertising from Meta’s platforms. Canadian Heritage soon followed with a list of “next steps” for the bill’s implementation, including capping how much platforms would have to pay to display Canadian news content.

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