Technology giant Meta Platform could end the availability of news content on Facebook and Instagram in Canada if the country’s Online News Act (C-18) is passed.
The proposed legislation would require social media platforms to pay news publishers to feature their content.
In a statement, Meta president of global affairs Nick Clegg said: “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.”
Clegg, who served as the UK’s deputy prime minister from May 2010 to May 2015, said that: “this legislation would make Canada the first democracy to put a price on free links to web pages, which flies in the face of global norms on copyright principles and puts at risk the free flow of information online.”
Clegg was supposed to discuss the bill at a committee of Canada’s House of Commons on Monday, but he cancelled after the title of the hearing was changed to ‘Tech Giants’ Current and Ongoing Use of Intimidation and Subversion Tactics to Evade Regulation in Canada and Across the World’.
The C-18 bill was drafted to create a system for ‘fair revenue sharing’ between digital platforms and news organisations, according to a Bloomberg report.
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It would also allow media outlets to collectively bargain for fees with companies like Meta.
The law was introduced by Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez to address a “market imbalance” caused by the growing number of Canadians turning to digital platforms for news.
This is not the first time Meta has said it will remove content from its platform.
Last year, the US giant said it may remove Facebook and Instagram from Europe due to the European Union’s data regulations.