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Google Is Protesting a Canadian Law By Blocking News In Search Results

vendredi 24 février 2023, 04:30 , par Slashdot
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CBC: Google is blocking some Canadian users from viewing news content in what the company says is a test run of a potential response to the Liberal government's online news bill. Also known as Bill C-18, the Online News Act would require digital giants such as Google and Meta, which owns Facebook, to negotiate deals that would compensate Canadian media companies for republishing their content on their platforms. The company said Wednesday that it is temporarily limiting access to news content for under four per cent of its Canadian users as it assesses possible responses to the bill. The change applies to its ubiquitous search engine as well as the Discover feature on Android devices, which carries news and sports stories. All types of news content are being affected by the test, which will run for about five weeks, the company said. That includes content created by Canadian broadcasters and newspapers.

In a news release, the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) said Google's tactics just reinforce why Bill C-18 is so 'vital,' adding that Google and other global digital giants are showing they do not intend to play fair. 'These are bully tactics, and Google is trying to push the Senate to back down on Bill C-18. We hope senators will see these actions for what they are,' said CAB president Kevin Desjardins. 'Bill C-18 was introduced to set up fair negotiations between news organizations and these global digital giants on the value of their news content. Google has shown they're willing to block Canadians' vital access to legitimate news content to maintain their dominance in the advertising field.' Meta threatened to stop the sharing of news links in Canada last year if C-18 passed as currently written.

The social media company temporarily shut down news feeds in Australia after a similar law was introduced. It took effect in March 2021 and has largely worked, according to a government report.

CBC notes: 'More than 450 news outlets in Canada have closed since 2008, including 64 in the last two years.'

Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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