Meta revealed on Tuesday that it will “permanently” cease the availability of news on Instagram and Facebook for Canadians. This decision is in reaction to the Online News Act introduced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government, which obliges platforms to remunerate publishers each time a user clicks on a news article link.
The tech behemoth started restricting certain publishers on its platforms from July, but it now seems ready to take this action to the extreme.
“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,” Meta said in a statement.
Meta alleged that the Online News Act is “based on the incorrect premise” that tech companies “benefit unfairly from news content shared on [their] platform,” noting that, “the reverse is actually true.”
“In the future,” Meta added that they “hope the Canadian government will recognize the value we already provide the news industry and consider a policy response that upholds the principles of a free and open internet, champions diversity and innovation, and reflects the interests of the entire Canadian media landscape.”
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre expressed regret over Meta's decision, but attributed the entire blame to the Trudeau Liberals.
“It's like 1984,” he stated. “You have a prime minister passing a law to make news articles disappear from the internet. Who would've ever imagined that in Canada, the federal government would pass laws banning people from effectively seeing the news? Who would've thought that we'd have a government that would pass a law to manipulate the algorithms of the internet?”
He continued to insinuate that after eight years under Liberal rule, Trudeau is intent on preventing Canadians from confronting the “facts of life.”