Social media news consumers on Vancouver Island and across Canada can no longer access local and national news content from Meta platforms.
David Black is an associate professor of communication and culture at Royal Roads University and says approximately 23 per cent of Canadians get their news from Facebook.
“What we’re seeing here is a high-tech game of chicken between government, content providers and big tech platforms,” says Black.
Meta’s move is in response to Bill C-18, which forces the tech titans to compensate publishers for their content.
A group of Canadian publishers and broadcasters is calling on Canada’s Competition Bureau to investigate. “It’s an abuse of their dominant position,” says Paul Deegan, president and CEO of News Media Canada.
“Essentially what they’ve done is they are denying news publishers and broadcasters audience in Canada, but moreover, because of that, they’re also denying us advertising revenue at the same time.”
Black isn’t confident in a quick resolution.
“This is the beginning of what will be a high-tech free-for-all with outcomes yet to be determined.”
As to what might move the stalemate, Black points to the government and private corporations pulling their advertisement from Meta platforms.
“That boycott represents a real cost to the platforms’ bottom line,” he added.