As Google had earlier announced this year, Meta is following suit by testing out blocking news content on Instagram and Facebook as a response to the Bill C-18.
On Thursday, the tech giant Meta, announced that it would be taking steps to block a few news contents on their popular social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram. The step taken comes from a temporary testing program Meta is excepting to try out through the end of this month.
Meta’s idea does not come originally; Google announced taking a similar step earlier in the year. In both cases, it was the proposed bill C-18, that got it started. The Online News Act, states that tech giants of all kinds would have to pay publishers for any kind of linking on social media applications, and failing to do so, they would need to repurpose their online content. The bill, presently being taken into consideration, could come through as early as this month.
If said bill does come into fruition, Meta has made it clear, that they are willing to block news content permanently on Facebook and Instagram. However, at present time the temporary block announced this week will only affect 5% of Canadian Users against its 24 million users. The head of public policy at Meta Canada, Rachel Curran stated that the number of users who could be impacted through the test has fluctuated.
News content will be blocked on Instagram and Facebook for randomly selected users across Canada. This could include content on links to articles, reels, stories, etc.
The New York Times and BBC could also be among the international news companies being blocked in Canada, if they happen to be selected randomly.