Facebook threatens to ban news in Canada if Online News Act is passedtext_fields
San Francisco: Facebook has responded to Canada's proposed Online News Act with a threat to block news in the country. The new law will force online platforms like Facebook and Google to disclose their revenue with news publishers.
Marc Dinsdale, head of media partnerships at Meta's Canadian unit, told the Wall Street Journal that "the company feels it is important to be transparent about the possibility that we may be forced to consider whether we continue to allow the sharing of news content in Canada."
Meta in a blog post said the proposed Act is falsely presuming that the tech company "unfairly benefits from its relationship with publishers." The Act is also misrepresenting the relationship between platforms and news publishers, said the social media giant.
It further stated that the Canadian government's approach is "particularly misguided" because Facebook helps publishers. According to Meta, registered news publishers in Canada received over 1.9 billion clicks over the past 12 months, bringing in an estimated 230 million Canadian dollars in value. "Posts with links to news articles make up less than 3% of what people see in their Facebook Feed, and Canadians tell us they want to see less news and political content."
"We believe the Online News Act misrepresents the relationship between platforms and news publishers, and we call on the government to rethink its approach to help create a more fair and sustainable news industry in the long-term," read the blog post.
Meta has urged the Canadian government to consider a policy response in support of public interest journalism that is fact-based. It also reflects the interests of not only a small handful of legacy publishers but also those of small businesses, innovative independent publishers, and the 21 million Canadians who use Facebook every day. The blog post also mentioned that the company is open to working with the government on ways to achieve this goal.
Google has also responded to the proposed Act by saying it will make it harder for Canadians to find and share trusted and authoritative news online.