Meta Platforms, which owns Facebook and Instagram, is planning to start a test to limit access to some news content in Canada, reported Reuters.
The pilot, which will run for several weeks, will limit certain users and publishers from viewing or sharing some news content. During the testing, a small percentage of users who have volunteered will be notified if they try to share news content.
The US technology giant is conducting the test in response to the “Online News Act” proposed by the Canadian government last year.
The legislation proposes to force platforms, such as Google and Facebook, to pay news publishers for their content.
Last month, Meta president of global affairs Nick Clegg said that if the legislation is passed, Meta would end the availability of news content in Canada.
“As such, we have 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,” warned Clegg, who served as the UK’s deputy prime minister from May 2010 to May 2015.
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Canada’s Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, who introduced the bill, said Meta’s test was “unacceptable”.
“When a big tech company… tells us, ‘If you do not do this or that, then I am pulling the plug’ – that is a threat. I have never done anything because I was afraid of a threat,” Rodriguez told the news agency.
Similar tests were carried out earlier this year by Google to remove news items for select Canadian users as a possible response to the proposed act.