Canada's Bill C-18, better known as the Online News Act, is now officially the law in that country. The bill was passed by the Canadian government back in June, and requires that social media companies make monetary deals with news organizations so they can distribute links from those news outlets on online services.
Meta, which operates both Facebook and Instagram, previously stated it would remove news outlet links to its Canadian audiences from those services in response to the Online News Act. In an updated blog post today, Meta confirmed it has started doing just that:
In order to comply with the Online News Act, we have begun the process of ending news availability in Canada. These changes start today, and will be implemented for all people accessing Facebook and Instagram in Canada over the course of the next few weeks.
In its blog post, Meta claimed that the Online News Act "is based on the incorrect premise that Meta benefits unfairly from news content shared on our platforms." Meta counters that news organizations actually benefit more by having links to their content distributed by Facebook and Instagram.
Meta believes it is in its best interest to simply remove news links from its social media services to completely comply with the Online News Act. As a result of this decision, people in Canada will not see links to news sites on Facebook and Instagram, either from local news outlets or from outside the country.
They also won't be able to share any news links on their own Facebook or Instagram accounts. In addition, Canadian news outlets can no longer post links to their content on Facebook and Instagram.
Google previously said in June it would also remove news links from its Search services to Canadian users as its own response to the Online News Act. So far, the company has not confirmed it has begun that removal process.