After Google, Meta Company to test blocking news content on Facebook, Instagram in Canada
Meta Inc. Boss Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly announced that the company will begin tests on Facebook and Instagram, its social media platforms, to limit some users and publishers from viewing or sharing some news content in Canada.
According to a report by news agency Reuters, this testing period will run for several weeks and the minor percentage of Canadian users who will be enrolled in testing will be notified if they attempt to share news content.
Meta Inc., with other companies like Google, have been against Canada’s news launched site “Online News Act“. Under this act, which was introduced in April last year, the legislation would force companies to negotiate commercial deals and pay Canadian news publishers for their content.
Earlier this year in March, the Meta Inc. had warned that it would end the availability of news content for Canadians on its platforms if the proposed bill was passed in its current form.
According to Pablo Rodriguez, Canadian Heritage Minister, who introduced the bill last year, the tests are “unacceptable”.
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“When a big tech company — tells us, ‘If you don’t do this or that, then I’m pulling the plug’ – that’s a threat. I’ve never done anything because I was afraid of a threat,” the publication quoted Rodriguez as saying.
Earlier this year, Google also rolled out similar tests blocking news content for some Canadian users as a test run for a potential response to the online news bill.
“We’re briefly testing potential product responses to Bill C-18 that impact a very small percentage of Canadian users. We run thousands of tests each year to assess any potential changes to Search,” a Google spokesperson was quoted as saying in February.
It said that the time-limited tests impacted a random sampling of less than 4% of the users in Canada with “limit the visibility of Canadian and international news to varying degrees.”