- Meta is blocking Canadian users from accessing news content on Facebook and Instagram as a temporary test until the end of June, due to a proposed bill that would require tech giants to pay publishers for linking to or repurposing their content online.
- The temporary block will affect one to 5% of Meta’s 24 million Canadian users, and could include news links to articles, reels, or stories, impacting both local and international news publishers.
- The move by Meta has sparked controversy in Canada, with some accusing the company of using Canadian users as pawns in a larger battle over the future of online news, while others see the proposed legislation as a step in the right direction towards enhancing fairness in the digital news marketplace.
Some Canadians have reported experiencing blocked news content on popular social media platforms Instagram and Facebook, as both platforms undergo tests as part of parent company Meta’s efforts to address concerns around misinformation and harmful content.
Users have reported being unable to access articles from major news outlets, including The New York Times and The Guardian, as well as posts from independent journalists and small media organizations.
This follows Meta’s recent announcement of plans to implement new measures to combat misinformation, including reducing the visibility of content containing false or misleading information and expanding fact-checking efforts.
While these tests are aimed at improving the overall quality of content on the platforms, many users in Canada have expressed frustration at the apparent limitations on accessing news articles and information.
Some have also raised concerns about the potential for these tests to inadvertently silence important voices and perspectives, particularly from smaller and less mainstream media outlets.
Meta has stated that these tests are part of ongoing efforts to improve the user experience and address concerns around misinformation and harmful content on Instagram and Facebook, and that it will continue to monitor feedback and make adjustments as necessary.