Social media blackout in Canada hits northern VT media

Meta’s response to new Canadian restrictions on news media

Screenshot from Newport Dispatch Facebook page

By Daniel Duric, Newport Dispatch
NEWPORT — Media outlets in border communities, such as Orleans County, are now cut off from followers just north of the border, as tech giant Meta rolls out its dramatic measure of blocking news content across Canada. The decision is set to impact the ability of these publishers to engage with their Canadian audiences.

Starting today, Facebook and Instagram, Meta’s prominent platforms, are restricting Canadian users from viewing or sharing news links, along with broadcaster videos and photos.

This bold move from Meta, previously teased for several months, is projected to be fully effective within a few weeks for all Canadian users.

As per the company’s official statement, “In response to the Online News Act, content from global news outlets, including news publishers and broadcasters, will not be available to people accessing Facebook and Instagram in Canada.” This disruptive change is also set to impede the dynamics of cross-border news dissemination.

The central motivation behind Meta’s radical decision lies in the Canadian legislature’s approval of the Online News Act. This law necessitates certain platforms to negotiate revenue-sharing agreements with news organizations, a move designed to alleviate the longstanding struggles of news outlets with plummeting advertising revenue, largely attributed to the rise of online services.

The Online News Act also gives the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) unprecedented, sweeping new powers to regulate every aspect of the Canadian news industry. The CRTC would be responsible for determining who is a journalist, what is an eligible news business, and how much money will be directed to each entity.

It would oversee and govern all negotiations between the news publishers and technology companies, including setting mandatory terms, while also resolving any resulting disputes and having the power to issue penalties.

“The bottom line is that the CRTC would have enormous power when regulating the news Canadians rely on, with few if any checks and balances,” a statement from Google regarding their concerns of the Online News Act reads.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reports that Facebook and Google together capture roughly 80 percent of digital advertising revenue. Google has also disclosed plans to prevent Canadian users from accessing news story links on several of its platforms in response to the new legislation.

Previously in 2021, Meta had similarly restricted news content in Australia. However, under pressure, Meta, Google, and other platforms eventually relented, arriving at a consensus to compensate Australian publishers for posting news links and snippets.

As Meta begins its news blackout in Canada, news organizations along the border, such as Newport Dispatch, are tasked with finding innovative ways to continue serving their audiences.

The Newport Dispatch is a free online daily newspaper serving the Northeast Kingdom and providing up-to-date police news statewide.

Categories: Media

8 replies »

  1. The ultimate resolution to this Canadian law will be for Meta, Google, et al to charge users for news access on these platforms.

    • Revenue may appear to be the issue on it’s face, but the Online News Act is furthering Canada’s re-alignment to a totalitarian/marxist country- and is the hidden goal of the trudeau regime.
      As we observe current Canadian political policy and goals, we can easily see that the US is following the same slippery path- albeit differently. That pesky US Constitution gets in the way-
      A similar news item in the US has bernard sanders urging the current DOJ to begin prosecuting Oil Companies for “disinformation” on “climate change”. At what point will we Americans wake up and reject such foolishness? Covid proved we probably won’t until it’s beyond repair.

  2. 3 years now , we have tried to Explain Facebook Censorship to Vermonters .
    This is only the Tip of the Iceberg .

  3. Please explain Facebook censorship in relation to the Canadian Online News Act. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

  4. VPNs help some, as does Brave browser…but Google/Gates has us by the short hairs and is holding gnosis hostage.
    But that’s okay… who’s interested in the Truth anyway, these days?
    Slurp slurp, guzzle guzzle, chomp chomp…

  5. Are we supposed to be shocked? This is precisely what transpired in the USA in 2020 between disallowing news & alternate opinions on Covid19, as well as many facts and realities pertaining to Joe Biden, his son’s laptop, etc.

    We are NO LONGER living in a Constitutional Republic & Canada never was. Our free press has been vanquished, elections are rife with fraud & ensuing cover-ups, and freedom of speech is being squelched along with freedom of religion……just as our forefathers predicted. My, what remarkable prophesiers they were……or did they just accurately know the hearts & minds of men and what they were capable of.

  6. If you want to be a happy person, unplug from the News. Esp if it has a comment section… because it tends to affect people by increasing their bias. And their shared misery. BF Skinner was right. And so was PT Barnum.

  7. To the people of Canada. BUY A VPN. I do mean a good one not for free. nuff said.