Tuesday, May 21, 2024

59% of Canadians think Meta should lift ban on news and comply with government

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Most people are sick of the Online News Act while some people are happy that news has been removed from their social media feeds. 

Bill C-18, or the Online News Act, was given royal assent by the Governor General on June 22nd, but was in the works for a long time before then. 

For years, the Canadian government has been trying to figure out a way to have journalists and publishers compensated fairly by the billionaire companies Meta and Google. 

Both said they would remove all Canadian news from their platforms if the government went ahead with the act as it was.

Since it passed through the House of Commons and received royal assent, Google has only threatened to remove news from their algorithm, while Meta quickly implemented a strategy to remove all news content and its creators from Instagram and Facebook.  

Google did however announce in late June that they will remove all Canadian news from their platform beginning on December 19th, if the Canadian government doesn’t rescind the Online News Act. 

The Canadian Government decided that Meta will have to pay $62 million towards Canadian publishers while Google will have to give $172 million.


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According to a recent survey by Leger, a Canadian-owned market research and analytics company, The majority of Canadians believe Meta should lift its ban on news being visible on their social media platforms. 

The survey suggests that only 75% of Canadians are even aware of the Online News Act, while a quarter of people don’t know what it is. 

Furthermore, those who are 55-years-old and up are more likely to be in the know than younger Canadians with 84% being aware of the act. 

At this point, only 47% of Canadians say they’ve been impacted by the changes thus far with some people still having news trickle into their Meta platforms like Instagram and Facebook. 

Leger also suggests that while 66% of Canadians believe that news should be free and accessible, 34% think Bill C-18 is a good thing. 

People who get their news mostly from social media were more inclined to think the act is a bad thing with 75% saying they think media should be free and easy to find and share in their networks. 

The Online News Act is an incredibly nuanced piece of legislation because on one hand it was made to make billionaire companies pay journalists fairly, but its implementation has been nothing but detrimental to the publishers it was meant to help. 

With that in mind, 43% of Canadians say they support the act, 31% are opposed to it and 26% admit to not being knowledgeable about those nuances to make an informed decision either way. 

The general consensus is that 59% of Canadians believe that Meta should lift its ban on news in Canada for all of its platforms, with 10% of that group saying they only want news that is emergency related. 

Because Canadians can’t see news on social media and soon they may not be able to see it on Google, 22% said they have turned to TV and radio for their news and 20% said they are going straight to the source and checking out free online news websites like Victoria Buzz.

Only 6% said they would be willing to pay a subscription for news content.

What do you think of the Online News Act? Are you in favour of it or opposed to it? Let us know in the comments!

mm
Curtis Blandy
curtis@victoriabuzz.com

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