Canadian media and telecommunications company Quebecor announced on Wednesday that it will withdraw all of its advertisement campaigns from Facebook and Instagram to protest Meta’s move to end access to news content on its platforms in the country.
The Online News Act, which is also known as Bill C-18, was first introduced on April 5, 2022, and received Royal Assent last month, which is the last step for a parliamentary bill to become a law.
Tech giants Meta and Google both recently announced that they would end access to news articles for all users in the country once the legislation becomes a law, which will make it mandatory for companies to pay Canadian online news publishers to link to their platforms.
In an effort to protest Meta’s decision, Quebecor said today that it would pull its ads from Facebook and Instagram until further notice.
“This high-handed decision is an abuse of Meta’s dominant position, particularly in the Canadian online advertising market, and violates the basic tenets of any society that believes in the importance of reliable, trustworthy news coverage for a healthy democracy,’’ the company said in a statement.
“Any move by Meta to circumvent Canadian law, block news for its users or discriminate against Canadian media content on its platforms, through its algorithms or otherwise, cannot be tolerated,’’ it added.
In December, the New Zealand government also introduced a similar law that would require companies like Google and Meta to pay news publishers for their content.