Meta has threatened to restrict Canadian news material due to media revenue-sharing regulations
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Meta has threatened to restrict Canadian news material due to media revenue-sharing regulations

In reaction to the country’s planned Bill C-18 legislation, Facebook parent corporation Meta said it may prohibit Canadians from posting news material. The Online News Act, introduced earlier this year by the governing Liberal government, intends to compel platforms like Facebook to enter into revenue-sharing agreements with local news organizations. The law is built after Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code, which the nation enacted in early 2021 over strong opposition from Google and Meta.

Meta said in a late Friday blog post that it wants to be “open about the likelihood that we may be compelled to examine whether we continue to enable the sharing of news material in Canada.” The warning came after Meta was not invited to a hearing regarding the proposal earlier in the week by the House of Commons Heritage Committee. The tribunal did hear evidence from Google, but only after the firm requested to be heard.

“We have always handled our contact with Canadian public authorities on this legislation in the spirit of honest and open discourse, and so we were startled not to get an invitation to participate,” Meta stated after the rebuff. Since CEO Mark Zuckerberg and former COO Sheryl Sandberg defied subpoenas from the parliament’s ethics committee in 2019, the Canadian government and social media behemoth have had a strained relationship.

The bill’s backer, Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, accused Meta of following in the footsteps of the corporation in Australia. “All we’re asking internet behemoths like Facebook to do is negotiate fair contracts with news organizations when they benefit from their work,” he told The National Post. Meta, among other things, contends that news content is not a substantial source of income for the firm. When Australia implemented its News Media Bargaining Code, Meta temporarily blocked access to all news material inside the nation. However, the corporation finally agreed to include the coverage of groups such as News Crop.

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