The law will compel Facebook to enter revenue-sharing contracts with regional news organizations if adopted.
In a blog post, Facebook parent company Meta stated that if Canada’s proposed revenue-sharing measure became law, it might ban residents from sharing news material on the social networking platform.
If the measure is passed, platforms like Facebook will be required to sign revenue-sharing agreements with regional news organizations, much to Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code, which went into effect last year.
Due to the new rule, Facebook first stopped allowing the posting of news content in Australia but subsequently reached deals with news organizations. The Canadian government has a similar proposal.
The new policy had initially prevented Facebook from allowing the distribution of news information in Australia, but it eventually reached deals with news organizations. The Canadian government is proposing similar plans.
According to Facebook’s blog post, “We believe the Online News Act misrepresents the connection between platforms and news publishers, and we call on the government to rethink its approach to help foster a more equitable and long-lasting news business.”
Facebook claimed that the legislation’s framework “presumes that Meta unfairly benefits from its relationship with publishers, when the reverse is true” and doesn’t “scrape content or links to news content. Posts with links to news articles make up less than 3% of what people see in their Facebook Feed, and Canadians tell us they want to see less news and political content. We have repeatedly shared with the government that news content is not a draw for people to use Facebook.
Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez charged the business with continuing to follow its Australian game plan in a statement provided to the news source National Post.
Ultimately, we want to ensure that Canada has a free and independent press because it is essential to our democracy. News that is trustworthy and factual must be available to Canadians. Rodriguez added that simply negotiating equitable agreements with news organizations when they profit from their work is all we’re asking tech behemoths like Facebook to do.