Meta to block news access on Facebook and Instagram in Canada

Meta justified its action by asserting that news holds no economic value for the company and that its users primarily engage with the platforms for purposes other than news consumption.

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Meta Platforms Inc, the company behind Facebook and Instagram, announced its plans to block access to news content on its platforms for all users in Canada. This decision comes in response to the Online News Act, legislation approved by the Canadian Senate, which requires internet giants to pay news publishers and is expected to come into effect shortly. 

The act aims to regulate tech companies and prevent them from dominating the online advertising market at the expense of news businesses. Meta stated that news has no economic value for the company and that its users do not utilise the platforms for news consumption.

Google has expressed concerns about Canada’s law being broader than those enacted in other countries, suggesting revisions to the bill. The Canadian government has resisted calls for amendments and intends to engage in a regulatory and implementation process once the law takes effect. 

The approval of the new legislation has garnered support from industry groups advocating for fair compensation for news publishers, while Google continues to view it as unworkable and seeks to collaborate with the government on finding a way forward.