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As news is still shared on Facebook, Instagram, Meta may yet be regulated: St-Onge

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OTTAWA — Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge says Canada’s broadcasting regulator should look into regulating Meta when the Online News Act comes into effect, as users find loopholes to share news on its platforms.

Meta began blocking news on Facebook and Instagram when Parliament passed the law this summer, arguing that will put it in compliance with a bill that requires tech giants to pay up for shared media content that helps them generate revenue. 

But news remains accessible on Instagram for some Canadian users when they view posts from media organizations using an internet browser on their phone or computer.

Users have also found other ways to share news stories on Facebook and Instagram, by direct messaging news links, sharing screenshots of articles and shortening news links so they can appear on stories, which are photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. 

The Online News Act compels Google and Meta to enter into compensation agreements with news publishers, and Google recently struck a $100-million deal with Ottawa following months of negotiations.

St-Onge says the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission should absolutely regulate Meta, and she can’t wait to see what the regulator will do with regards to Meta once final regulations come into effect by Dec. 19. 

Meta has not responded to multiple requests for comment from The Canadian Press. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 5, 2023. 

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The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press is Canada’s independent national news agency that informs Canadians, providing depth, breadth and perspective with regional, national and international news 24/7/365.

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