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Rather Than Pay News Orgs, Facebook Bans Article Sharing in Canada



Canada’s Parliament recently passed Bill C-18, the Online News Act, which would require social media platforms to pay news organizations for posted articles. In response, Meta announced that it was going to ban article sharing in Canada rather than pay up.

The Online News Act received Royal Assent on Thursday, meaning it’s all set to become law after Parliament passed it. The law is expected to go into effect in six months. The Canadian government says that the bill asks social media companies to “bargain fairly with Canadian news businesses” for having their articles posted.

“[The Online News Act] levels the playing field by putting the power of big tech in check and ensuring that even our smallest news business can benefit through this regime and receive fair compensation for their work,” Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage, said in a statement.

READ MORE: Facebook’s Zuckerberg Won’t Ban Holocaust Deniers Because He Thinks They Don’t ‘Intentionally’ Get Facts Wrong

The government says social media outlets are getting a clear benefit from users sharing articles. The companies not only sell advertising that appears near the articles, but sharing stories also boosts engagement and the value of the platform to users. In addition, the platforms can find out more about their users based on the type of stories they click on, obtaining their data for targeted advertising. With the Online News Act, smaller outlets are allowed the opportunity for collective bargaining with the tech giants.

Meta, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram, responded by saying Canadian news stories wouldn’t be available to Canadians on its platforms.

“The changes affecting news content will not otherwise impact Meta’s products and services in Canada. We want to assure the millions of Canadians on our platforms that they will always be able to connect with friends and family, grow their businesses and support their local communities,” Meta said in a statement.

Meta threatened to do this earlier this month, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau panned the company, according to the CBC.

“The fact that these internet giants would rather cut off Canadians’ access to local news than pay their fair share is a real problem, and now they’re resorting to bullying tactics to try and get their way. It’s not going to work,” Trudeau said.

Meta is not the only outlet to consider such a drastic action. Google has suggested on Thursday it may do something similar, the CBC reported.

“Every step of the way, we’ve proposed thoughtful and pragmatic solutions that would have improved the bill and cleared the path for us to increase our already significant investments in the Canadian news ecosystem,” Google said. “So far, none of our concerns have been addressed. Bill C-18 is about to become law and remains unworkable.”

Canada’s Online News Act is not the first of its kind. It’s based on a 2021 Australian law, the News Media Bargaining Code. Nor is Meta’s response the first of its kind—in August 2020, when the NMBC was proposed, the company blocked news in Australia. In early 2021, Facebook reached an agreement with the Australian government and removed the block.

A similar act could even come to America. California is reportedly considering its own version of the Online News Act, according to The Hill. And, as the Hill reports, Meta has made similar threats to the state if the Journalism Preservation Act goes forward.


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Zuckerberg Reveals Facebook Is Working With Mueller – Walks Back Comment About Subpoena



Mark Zuckerberg has revealed that Facebook has been working with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his office. The Facebook founder and CEO is giving  testimony before a rare joint session of two Senate committees in response to the Cambridge Analytica data breach that the company says affected 87 million people.

In an exchange with Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Zuckerberg revealed working with Mueller’s office and then, at first, acknowledged that Facebook has been served subpoenas:

He then walked back a portion of his response, saying: “Let me clarify that. I’m actually not aware of a subpoena. I believe that there may be, but I know that we are working with them.”


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