Meta Platforms Removing News Content in Canada

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Social media and the news are a fraught relationship, particularly when you look at the past several years.

a white square with a blue logo on it
A white square with a blue Meta logo on it. Photo by Dima Solomin

And while governments attempt to combat misinformation, sometimes the efforts seem a little heavy-handed. That might be the case with today’s headline.

In compliance with a new law in Canada, Meta announced that they were limiting news content on its platforms for Canadian users.

From Meta’s press release on the matter:

“As we have shared, content from news outlets, including news publishers and broadcasters, will not be available to people accessing Facebook and Instagram in Canada if Bill C-18, the Online News Act, is passed into law. As we prepare to comply with the legislation, we are announcing today that we will begin testing on both platforms that will limit some users and publishers from viewing or sharing news content in Canada.”

Explaining the company’s efforts to combat misinformation, Meta outlines its global fact-checking network currently operating in 60 languages. But when you consider the sheer volume of user-generated content on the company’s platforms, even the most robust system cannot prevent misinformation from spreading. Even so, some people might think the Canadian government’s new law is a bit too far, Meta being among them.

“As we have repeatedly shared, the Online News Act is fundamentally flawed legislation that ignores the realities of how our platforms work, the preferences of the people who use them, and the value we provide news publishers. As the Minister of Canadian Heritage has said, how we choose to comply with the legislation is a business decision we must make, and we have made our choice. While these product tests are temporary, we intend to end the availability of news content in Canada permanently following the passage of Bill C-18.”

This issue will likely become more pronounced moving forward as AI-generated images and “deep fakes” become more sophisticated and abundant.

Any thoughts on social media and reporting the news are welcome in the comments below.

Check out some of our other headlines at this link.

[Meta]

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

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