OTTAWA — Canadians who get their news from social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram will have to go somewhere else.
Meta announced Tuesday it is officially ending news availability for all Canadian users within a few weeks.
“In order to provide clarity to the millions of Canadians and businesses who use our platforms, we are announcing today that we have begun the process of ending news availability permanently in Canada,” said Rachel Curran, head of public policy for Meta Canada.
The move means Canadians will no longer be able to share or view content posted by news organizations.
That includes public broadcasters like the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and independent outlets like NB News Now.
Paul Deegan, president of News Media Canada, said in a statement that the move will harm user experience and devalue Facebook’s platform.
“Without access to real fact-based news created by real journalists, Facebook will become far less attractive to users and advertisers,” he said.
“We expect more and more advertisers and their agencies will begin pulling advertising from the platform in response to this unilateral, undemocratic, and unreasonable move.”
Meta’s decision is in response to Bill C-18, a piece of federal legislation known as the Online News Act expected to come into full effect by January.
It requires companies like Google and Meta to compensate Canadian news outlets for the content shared on their respective platforms.
“Google and Facebook earn 80 per cent of all digital advertising revenue in Canada. Meanwhile, hundreds of newsrooms have closed,” said Canadian Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge in a statement.
“A free and independent press is fundamental to our democracy, and Canadians expect tech giants to follow the law in our country.”