Facebook threatens to block news content about Canada’s revenue-sharing bill by Stocksak


© Stocksak. FILE PHOTO – This illustration was taken February 15, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration


By Ismail Shakil

OTTAWA, (Stocksak), – Facebook NASDAQ: warned on Friday it may block Canadian news content sharing due to concerns about legislation that would require digital platforms to pay news publishers.

The Online News Act was passed in April. It established rules to force platforms like Meta (NASDAQ: Google) to negotiate commercial deals with news publishers and pay them for their content. This move is similar to the ground-breaking Australian law last year.

The legislation is currently being considered by a parliamentary committee. The U.S. social media company stated that it has not been invited share its concerns with the committee.

Marc Dinsdale, head, media partnerships at Meta Canada, stated in a blog post that “we believe the Online News Act misrepresents news publishers and platforms, and we ask for the government to reconsider its approach.”

Dinsdale wrote that “In the face a adverse legislation that is based on false assumptions which defy the logic behind how Facebook operates,” Dinsdale said.

Pablo Rodriguez, Canada’s Heritage Minister, introduced the bill. He stated in a statement that the government continues to have “constructive discussions” with Facebook.

Rodriguez stated that all we asked was for tech giants such as Facebook to make fair deals with news outlets when they earn from their work.

The legislation proposes that digital platforms with a “bargaining inequalities” with news businesses, as measured by metrics such as a firm’s global revenues, must make fair deals. These deals would then be evaluated by a regulator.

Dinsdale stated that news content is not a draw for Facebook users, and does not generate significant revenue for the company.

Australia, which has led global efforts in reining in tech firms’ power, proposed legislation that required them to pay local media to produce news content. Google threatened to shut down its Australian search engine while Facebook removed all third-party content from Australian accounts.

After a series amendments to the legislation, both sides eventually made deals with Australian media companies.

Stocksak Editorial

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