Meta to remove news content from Facebook and Instagram in Canada

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has announced that it will end access to news on its social media sites for all Canadian users before Bill C-18, the Online News Act, comes into force. The move comes in response to the law, which will force tech giants like Meta and Google to pay news outlets for posting their journalism on their platforms. Meta said it will begin to block news for Canadian users over the next few months, and the change will not be immediate. The bill is currently awaiting royal assent after passing both the House and the Senate, and once it receives assent, it should take six months to come into force. The company had previously threatened to end access to news content for Canadian users of Facebook and Instagram earlier this month, in response to the looming passage of Bill C-18. The company said it was conducting tests on ending news access for a small percentage of Canadians, and the test is still ongoing. Google, which has said it is considering the same approach to blocking news as Meta, said in a media statement on Thursday that it is attempting to "avoid an outcome no one wants," but it has concerns that have not yet been addressed. Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez responded to Meta's announcement by saying that following royal assent of Bill C-18, the federal government will engage in a "regulatory and implementation process." He said Meta currently has no obligations under the Act. The spokesperson for the minister said his office had meetings with Facebook and Google this week and they look forward to further discussions with the platforms.


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