Within a few weeks, Canadians will no longer see news stories on their Instagram and Facebook feeds. Meta says they will be removing news from its Instagram and Facebook platforms for all of its Canadian users within the course of the next few weeks.The Facebook logo is seen on a mobile phone, Oct. 14, 2022, in Boston. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Michael Dwyer

By Mickey Djuric in Ottawa

Discovering news articles and videos on Facebook and Instagram will soon become a relic of the past, as Meta announced it is officially ending news availability in Canada.

Meta said Tuesday that within a few weeks, it will remove news for all Canadian users of its popular Facebook and Instagram platforms.

In June the company started running a test that limited news for up to five per cent of users, but now it says it is moving out of the testing phase.

“In order to provide clarity to the millions of Canadians and businesses who use our platforms, we are announcing today that we have begun the process of ending news availability permanently in Canada,” said Rachel Curran, head of public policy for Meta Canada. Curran previously served as a policy adviser for former prime minister Stephen Harper.

That means Canadians will no longer be able to share or view news articles and other content posted by publishers and broadcasters, including international outlets.News links to articles, reels — which are short-form videos — or stories, which are photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours, are also expected to be affected by the block.

People outside of Canada will not see a change.

Paul Deegan, president of News Media Canada, said this “intemperate” action will harm user experience and devalue the Facebook platform.

“Without access to real fact-based news created by real journalists, Facebook will become far less attractive to users and advertisers,” Deegan said in a statement. “We expect more and more advertisers and their agencies will begin pulling advertising from the platform in response to this unilateral, undemocratic, and unreasonable move.”

The federal government and some companies have already retaliated by ending advertising with Meta.

Meta said it is defining news content based on how it’s described in the Liberal government’s Online News Act, which became law earlier this summer.

It says the move to block news is a response to the bill, which requires tech giants to enter into agreements that compensate Canadian news outlets for content shared or otherwise repurposed on their platforms.

“For many months, we have been transparent about our concerns with the Online News Act. It is based on the incorrect premise that Meta benefits unfairly from news content shared on our platforms, when the reverse is actually true,” Curran said.

“News outlets voluntarily share content on Facebook and Instagram to expand their audiences and help their bottom line. In contrast, we know the people using our platforms don’t come to us for news.”

Ottawa has said the law creates a level playing field between online advertising giants and the shrinking news industry.

The federal government has said that since 2008, close to 500 media outlets in 335 communities across Canada have closed, with more than 20,000 journalists losing their job, while Google and Meta continue to bring in billions in advertising dollars.

Canadian Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

“In the future, we hope the Canadian government will recognize the value we already provide the news industry and consider a policy response that upholds the principles of a free and open internet, champions diversity and innovation, and reflects the interests of the entire Canadian media landscape,” Curran said.

The Online News Act will come into effect by the end of the year, as the Liberal government develops regulations, a process Meta is not interested in being a part of.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 1, 2023.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2023. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

Pipeline Online provides the in-depth coverage on energy issues in this province that no other media comes close to. It does NOT receive federal journalism subsidies. However, with recent action from Facebook to block news links, it’s important to follow Pipeline Online in other manners. The easiest is to check each morning at PipelineOnline.ca, with the top story posted at 7 a.m. Monday to Friday, and additional coverage throughout the day and weekend. But you can also follow on LinkedIn and Twitter. You can follow editor Brian Zinchuk online at LinkedIn as well (you’ll see more stories that way). Finally, you can subscribe to a weekly newsletter

 

  • 0076 Latus only
    0076 Latus only
  • 0073 SaskWorks-Pipeline Online
    0073 SaskWorks-Pipeline Online
  • 0067 PFM SaskWorks Payroll Investment Plan
    0067 PFM SaskWorks Payroll Investment Plan
  • 0064 Estevan OTS
    0064 Estevan OTS
  • 0063 Turnbull Excavating hiring crusher
    0063 Turnbull Excavating hiring crusher
  • 0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
    0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
  • 0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
    0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
  • 0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
    0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
  • 0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
    0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
  • 0052 Predator Inspections
    0052 Predator Inspections
  • 0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
    0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
  • 0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
    0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
  • 0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
    0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
  • 0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
    0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 0002 gilliss casing services
    0002 gilliss casing services
  • 9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
    9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
  • 9001