Meta says it might block Canadians from sharing news stories on Facebook if Bill C-18 becomes law

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Meta says the Liberal government’s pending Online News Act “misrepresents” the connection between platforms like itself and news publishers.

The federal government introduced Bill C-18 in April. It subjects digital platforms to pay news outlets to share their articles.

In a blog post, Facebook’s parent company Meta says current assumptions that Meta “unfairly benefits from its relationship with publishers” is untrue.

“We have repeatedly shared with the government that news content is not a draw for our users and is not a significant source of revenue for our company.”

Meta says they don’t scrape content or links related to news content. Less than three percent of what people see on their feeds is related to news articles. In turn, the company claims they help publishers who share links from their websites. This allows the content to reach a wider audience and leads to more readership, subscription sales, and advertising.

The company further says that if the bill becomes law, they might reconsider allowing Canadians to share news on Facebook. The act will force Meta to pay for news that publishers voluntarily add to the platform.

“We are being asked to acquiesce to a system that lets publishers charge us for as much content as they want to supply at a price with no clear limits,” Meta says. “No business can operate this way.”

The company says it was “surprised” not to be invited to participate in the study for the Online News Act and is urging the government to reconsider the bill.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Source: Meta

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