How tech companies are responding to Bill C-18
Meta, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram, and Google state they will begin limiting and halting access to news content, but that’s only half true. News exposure on some social media channels has been declining for a while, except it’s been called “pay to play,” through “social boosting,” meaning publications like MoneySense have to pay fees to ensure our content is seen by our followers and target audiences. It seems that audience growth through social media has peaked, at least from where I sit.
Bill C-18, which became law on June 22, 2023, requires tech companies that use content from news media to pay for it. In response to the bill, Meta released a statement that included: “Publishers choose to share their content because it benefits them to do so, whereas it isn’t particularly valuable to us at all. As such, we’ve taken the difficult decision that if this flawed legislation is passed, we will have to end the availability of news content on Facebook and Instagram in Canada.” And Google also released a statement: “We have now informed the Government that when the law takes effect, we unfortunately will have to remove links to Canadian news from our Search, News and Discover products in Canada, and that C-18 will also make it untenable for us to continue offering our Google News Showcase product in Canada.”
Until this gets figured out, Canadians are at risk of missing out on vital information that shapes their lives. That’s alarming, no matter which side of this debate you sit on.
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