Meta threatens to block news content in Canada over media revenue sharing legislation

Facebook parent company Meta says it may block Canadians from sharing news content in response to the country’s proposed Bill C-18 legislation. Introduced by the ruling Liberal government earlier this year, the Online News Act seeks to force platforms like Facebook to partner for revenue sharing with local news organisations. The legislation is modeled after Australia’s News Media Business Code, which the country successfully followed.

In a , Meta said it wanted to be “transparent about the possibility that we may be forced to consider whether to continue to allow news content sharing in Canada.” The threat came after the House of Commons Heritage Committee met on the legislation earlier in the week. The panel heard testimony from Google, though only after the company had asked to be included in the process.

“We have always approached our engagement with Canadian public authorities on this legislation in the spirit of honest and fair debate, so we were surprised not to receive an invitation to participate, particularly given public comments from lawmakers that this law It’s directed at Facebook.” Meta said following the snub. The Canadian government and the social media giant have had an acrimonious relationship since CEO Mark Zuckerberg ignored the 2019 subpoenas.

The bill’s sponsor, Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, accused Meta of using the same playbook the company used in Australia. “All we’re asking tech giants like Facebook to do is negotiate fair deals with media outlets when they benefit from their work,” he said. . Among other objections, Meta claims that news content is not a significant source of revenue for the company. When Australia enacted its News Media Trading Code, Meta briefly cut off access to all news content within the country. However, the company works with organizations like News Crop to carry its coverage.

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