Google Tests Blocking News Content In Canada

Published on 14 Feb 2023

Google, Tests, Blocking, News, Content, Canada

In reaction to the online news law proposed by the Canadian government, Google has begun conducting experiments in Canada that prevent some users from accessing material from news websites. Platforms like Facebook and Google would be required to negotiate partnerships that would compensate news publishers for their material if Bill C-18, also known as the Internet News Act, is passed into law. The measure is now being discussed in the Senate of Canada, where it has been brought for consideration.

The company stated that the testing would only affect "a tiny fraction" of Canadian customers. All varieties of news items are impacted by the testing, which reduces the exposure of both domestic and foreign news.

According to an email sent by a corporation representative, the representative said, "We are quickly evaluating various product solutions to Bill C-18 that affect a very tiny fraction of Canadian consumers." Each year, we put Search through hundreds of tests so that we can evaluate any prospective updates. We have been very open and honest about our worry that Bill C-18 is extremely broad and, if left unaltered, may affect items that Canadians use and depend on daily. We are still dedicated to working for a sustainable future for the journalism industry in Canada and providing answers to the problems caused by Bill C-18.

Also Read: The Technology That Died in 2021

Impact On Consumers

Pablo Rodriguez, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, said on Twitter that Canadians will not be frightened by the tests and that internet companies must be more open and responsible. He also stated that Canadians would not be scared by the tests.

In a tweet, Rodriguez expressed dissatisfaction with the revelation that Google was attempting to restrict access to several news websites. "The Canadian people will not be afraid. All that we are asking from the heavyweights of the computer industry is that they reward journalists when they utilize their work. The reason we did this is because of the Internet News Act. The IT companies in Canada need to be more open and responsible to the people in their country.

A year ago, Facebook threatened to restrict the sharing of Canadian news information if the government did not change the law to require digital platforms to compensate news publishers. Due to regulations of a similar kind, Facebook temporarily prevented users in Australia in 2021 from sharing or seeing news links on the network for some time. Google is now adopting the strategy used by the firm owned by Meta.

Google’s Opposition To The Canadian Law

This is not the first time that Google has voiced opposition to laws in Canada; the business is making this step now. Google raised concerns over Bill C-11, also known as the Internet Streaming Act, the year before. The measure would make it mandatory for websites like YouTube, which Google owns, to showcase Canadian material more prominently. Google said that the measure would harm content providers and consumers and restrict the opportunity to find new material. The Senate of Canada only recently approved the measure and its hundreds of revisions, and the House of Commons will now examine it.

A statement was published by the United States Trade Representative Katherine Tam a few of months ago highlighting that the online news and streaming legislation are discriminatory against American enterprises. The United States administration has expressed concerns over the laws' potential effects on commerce.


Featured image: Google


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