Meta’s platforms begin tests in Canada to restrict user access to news content

This move by Meta comes as a direct response to Canada’s proposed ‘Online News Act’, and aims to impose restrictions on certain users and publishers, preventing them from accessing or sharing news content.

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Meta Platforms Inc, the company behind Facebook and Instagram, has announced that it will conduct tests on its social media platforms in Canada to restrict certain users and publishers from accessing or sharing news content. The testing phase will last for a few weeks, and a small percentage of Canadian users involved in the testing will receive notifications if they try to share news content. 

This move by Meta is in response to Canada’s proposed ‘Online News Act,’ which aims to require platforms like Meta and Google to negotiate with and compensate Canadian news publishers for their content. In March, Meta had warned that it would remove news content from its platforms in Canada if the bill passed in its current form. 

The Canadian Heritage Minister, Pablo Rodriguez, who introduced the bill, criticised Meta’s tests as ‘unacceptable.’ Earlier this year, Google also conducted similar tests by blocking news content for some Canadian users as a potential response to the online news bill.