Meta has announced its begun the process of stripping users in Canada access to news on Facebook and Instagram – as the government slams the move as “irresponsible”.

The social media giant has been threatening the possibility of pulling its news from the country after it passed the Online News Act (C-18).

The act, which was passed by the Canadian government in June, would force social media giants like Meta and Google to negotiate commercial deals with news publishers to provide their content. 

Big tech has strongly opposed this law, with Meta claiming that “news outlets voluntarily share content on Facebook and Instagram to expand their audiences and help their bottom line”.

Meta president of global affairs Nick Clegg previously said in a statement: “This legislation [makes] 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.”

Rachel Curran, Meta’s head of public policy in Canada, added that users on Facebook and Instagram “don’t come to us for news.”

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By GlobalData

Canada has slammed Meta’s retaliation to the law as “irresponsible” and “an abuse of their market power.”

“They would rather block their users from accessing good quality and local news instead of paying their fair share to news organizations,” Pascale St-Onge, Canadian Heritage Minister, previously said in a statement.

Meta claims news makes up less than 3% of the content that its users see on their feeds and has strongly argued its lack of economic value for the company.

The move follows an overall revenue growth of 11% for Meta’s second quarter financial results.