Over a month has passed since the Canadian government’s Bill C-18, or the Online News Act, has been given royal assent and effectively made law.
The online news act was essentially put in place to allow for Canadian news sources and their journalists to be paid a fair amount of money for posting news to “intermediary’s” websites such as Meta’s Facebook and Instagram as well as Google.
Both Meta and Google pushed back against the legislation from the get-go, saying that the news sources benefitted from being able to use their platforms and they shouldn’t have to compensate them for published articles.
All along, the two tech giants have been threatening to block Canadians from seeing any posts made from news sources, and now the threat has become reality.
“In order to comply with the Online News Act, we have begun the process of ending news availability in Canada,” wrote Meta in an August 1st update to their reaction to the online news act.
“These changes start today, and will be implemented for all people accessing Facebook and Instagram in Canada over the course of the next few weeks.”
At first, news giants such as CBC, BBC, CNN, Global and CTV were impacted, but now, Victoria Buzz has been targeted by this blackout.
The majority of Canadians have expressed their outrage toward both the tech giants for implementing the news censorship, but also to the federal government for thinking both Meta and Google were merely bluffing.
The Online News Act has 180 days from the time it was passed on June 22nd to begin impacting these tech companies and the news outlets that use them for distribution. This means on Tuesday, December 19th, there may be no news on Google, Facebook, and Instagram.
Many digital first media companies, including traditional outlets, are now pivoting and providing new means of ways for readers to access our information while readers pivot to try to find new ways of staying informed.
Many Victoria Buzz followers have mentioned that they can no longer see any daily social content. However, there are still ways to stay in the loop and support local journalism — here’s how you can find us:
- Victoria Buzz website
- Subscribe to Victoria Buzz’s daily newsletter
- X (Twitter) – @victoriabuzzes
- Threads – @victoria_buzz
- TikTok – @victoriabcbuzz
- Reddit / Victoria Buzz thread
It is unclear at this time whether or not Meta, Google and the Canadian government are at the negotiating table to discuss how to amend or alter the act to work in both journalists and the tech company’s favour.
In the meantime, we hope to see you on our other channels!