On Thursday (22 June 2023), Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, announced that news availability will be ended on both platforms for all users in Canada. This decision comes in response to the passing of the Online News Act (Bill C-18) in Parliament.
Meta has been vocal about its concerns with Bill C-18, stating that the legislation is fundamentally flawed and ignores the realities of how their platforms work, the preferences of the people who use them, and the value they provide news publishers. Despite these concerns, Meta has chosen to comply with the legislation and has been conducting product tests to build an effective product solution to end news availability in Canada.
These tests, which impact a small percentage of users in Canada, are an important step in Meta’s rigorous approach to product development. They are designed to ensure that the product experience works as expected and are a crucial part of Meta’s commitment to comply with the Online News Act responsibly and transparently.
Despite the changes affecting news content, Meta has assured its Canadian users that the changes will not impact other products and services. Users will still be able to connect with friends and family, grow their businesses, and support their local communities through Meta’s platforms.
In addition to these changes, Meta has reiterated its commitment to combating misinformation. The company has built the largest global fact-checking network of any platform, partnering with more than 90 independent fact-checking organizations around the world. Fact-checking will continue with respect to content that remains available in Canada.