Meta’s Removal of News Content for Canadian Users Denounced by CBC

The move by Facebook and Instagram’s parent company comes after the country passed a law requiring payments to content providers 

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Meta is following through on its longstanding promise to remove news content from Facebook and Instagram in Canada if the Canadian government went ahead with its Online News Act.

Canada’s Online News Act demands that platforms like Facebook pay news organizations for the content they provide to said platforms. In opposition, Meta has long argued that it provides tremendous value to news organizations and that they don’t provide much value to Meta in return. As a result, Meta warned that if the Online News Act went ahead, the company would simply remove news content from Facebook and Instagram rather than be obligated to pay news organizations.

Now, Meta is doing exactly that. News content is going away for Canadian Facebook and Instagram users, effective immediately.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Radio Canada released a statement addressing Meta’s strategy, saying it strips Canadians of their access to verified, reliable news sources.

“Meta’s move to deny Canadians access to domestic sources of trusted news and verified information — especially at a time when Canadians are depending on it to stay safe from the harmful effects of unprecedented weather events across much of the country — is irresponsible and an abuse of their market power,” the statement reads. The CBC/Radio Canada then asks Meta to comply with Canada’s legislation and negotiate compensation with Canadian media organizations.

A Meta representative did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Meta has made its stance clear for a long while. The company feels it’s already doing news organizations a huge service by providing them a popular platform to post on. Furthermore, Meta commissioned a study indicating just how little value news content offers its platforms, reinforcing the company’s view that it has little incentive to budge when Canadian legislation asks it to.

A similar struggle is taking place in California, wherein a comparable media-friendly bill is eliciting the same response from Meta.