Facebook parent company Meta Platforms Inc. announced on Saturday that it would stop making news material available to Canadians on its platforms if Canada’s Online News Act is approved in its current form.
The “Online News Act,” or House of Commons bill C-18, which was filed in April last year, set up regulations to compel platforms like Meta and Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., to enter into commercial agreements and compensate news publishers for their material.
According to a Meta representative, the country’s news access will be suspended because “A legislative framework that compels us to pay for links or content that we do not post, and which are not the reason the vast majority of people use our platforms, is neither sustainable nor workable,” is neither sustainable nor workable.
The action by Meta comes after Google began experimenting with limited news restrictions as a possible response to the measure last month.
In order for the Canadian news media sector to recover the financial losses it has sustained over the years as tech behemoths like Google and Meta progressively increase their market share of advertising, the industry has petitioned the government for stronger regulation of tech corporations.
When Reuters contacted the Department of Canadian Heritage for comment over Meta’s decision to shut down press access in the nation, they did not answer right away.
Facebook expressed its worries about the legislation last year and issued a warning that it might be required to prohibit news-sharing on its site.