In response to Meta Platforms’ decision to block news access on Facebook and Instagram following the implementation of the Canadian Online News Act, several Canadian companies and government agencies have withdrawn their advertising from these platforms.
This move aims to support the legislation that requires payments to local news publishers and demonstrates a commitment to preserving journalism in Canada.
The actions taken by these entities reflect the critical need for the Online News Act and emphasize the importance of fair bargaining and a level playing field in the digital news landscape.
Canadian Companies and Government Agencies Rally Against Meta Platforms
Following the passing of the Online News Act, Meta Platforms’ decision to block news access on its platforms has sparked a significant backlash from various Canadian companies and government agencies.
One such company, Postmedia, expressed its support for the legislation and highlighted the urgency of the issue.
Postmedia CEO Andrew MacLeod stated, “There is no greater proof of the critical need for this law at this time than the actions taken upon its passing. We hope to work together to ensure that all parties can do what the Online News Act allows for, to bargain fairly, level the playing field and preserve journalism in Canada.”
Another prominent media company, Torstar Corporation, strongly opposed Meta Platforms’ plans to block content as a means of protest against the Online News Act.
Torstar CEO Neil Oliver called Meta’s actions unprecedented and criticized its attempt to undermine the legislation.
“We vigorously object to Meta’s unprecedented plans to block our content on its platforms in protest against the federal government’s Online News Act (Bill C-18),” Oliver emphasized, highlighting the importance of upholding Canadian law.
Cogeco, along with many other industry members, also expressed support for the Online News Act by withdrawing its advertising investments from Meta platforms.
The company’s decision aligns with the need to protect the legislation and participate in the regulatory process for its successful implementation. Cogeco emphasized the significance of collective action by industry players to uphold the principles of fair competition and safeguard journalism in Canada.
Quebecor, a major media and telecommunications company, echoed the sentiment expressed by other organizations regarding Meta Platforms’ potential circumvention of Canadian law.
Quebecor firmly asserted that any attempts by Meta to block news, discriminate against Canadian media content, or bypass regulations would not be tolerated.
By taking a stand against these actions, Quebecor emphasizes the importance of holding digital platforms accountable and preserving the diversity of voices in the Canadian media landscape.
Support for the Online News Act: A Cornerstone of a Healthy Democracy
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)/Radio-Canada emphasized the significance of news access, a plurality of voices, and a diversity of viewpoints as fundamental components of a healthy democracy.
By joining other Canadian media organizations, the CBC/Radio-Canada called for the protection of Canadians’ access to news from all outlets, both public and private.
This collective effort aims to ensure that the public remains well-informed and that the democratic process thrives in an era increasingly dominated by digital platforms.
The decision of several Canadian companies and government agencies to halt advertising on Facebook and Instagram in response to Meta Platforms’ block on news access underscores their commitment to the Canadian Online News Act.
By withdrawing support from these platforms, these entities demonstrate their dedication to fair bargaining, a level playing field, and the preservation of journalism in Canada.
The actions taken by Postmedia, Torstar Corporation, Cogeco, Quebecor, CBC/Radio-Canada, and other organizations reflect a united stance against any attempts to undermine Canadian law and highlight the importance of protecting news access for all Canadians in the digital age.
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