Canada suspends Facebook, Instagram advertising over Online News Act disagreement

Canada Online News Act. image credit Twitter @LifeSite

Toronto/CMEDIA: Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez has said that following Meta’s decision to pull Canadian news from its platforms in response to the Online News Act, the federal government would suspend all its advertising on Facebook and Instagram.

At a joint press conference with the NDP’s Peter Julian and the Bloc Québécois’ Martin Champoux, Rodriguez said Wednesday that Facebook’s decision to start blocking news is both unreasonable, and irresponsible and added,

“This is why today we are announcing the Government of Canada will be suspending advertising on Facebook and Instagram.

“Google, on the other hand, has been open to finding a solution.”

Following Canada’s Online News Act, C-18, becoming law on June 22, companies like Google and Meta, Facebook and Instagram’s parent company are being forced to pay money to news organizations each time a user accesses a web story through a link on one of their products.

Both Meta and Google have announced they will block Canadian news in response to the Act.

Ahead of the Act passing, the Canadian Press reported in June that  as part of a test run, Meta has decided to temporarily block news links for some Canadians on Facebook and Instagram.

Google has also said that when the law comes into effect in six months it will block news for Canadians on its search engine. 

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a news conference in St-Hyacinthe, Que., Wednesday that Meta’s decision to block Canadian news for some users is “undermining our democracy at a time where we need to stand up for democracy.”