Canada: Trudeau criticizes Facebook for handling local news

No more local news
“Puts profit before people’s safety”: Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau attacks Facebook

Justin Trudeau accuses Facebook of putting profit over Canadian safety in a dangerous situation

© Brian McInnis/The Canadian Press/AP/DPA

Canada is experiencing its worst wildfire season in history. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is now accusing Facebook of putting profit before the safety of those affected by stopping the platform from showing them local news.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has criticized internet company Meta for Stop showing local forest fire news to Facebook users in the country. “Especially now, in an emergency situation when up-to-date information is more important than ever, Facebook is putting corporate profits before people’s safety,” Trudeau said at a news conference on Monday. “Rather than making sure local journalists are paid fairly to keep Canadians informed about things like wildfires, Facebook is blocking the news on its pages,” added the 51-year-old.

Facebook responds to new law in Canada

Meta had started in early August to stop showing local news on the profiles retrieved from Canada on its Facebook and Instagram platforms. The background is the planned introduction of the so-called Online News Act in Canada. The law is supposed to help smaller media companies in particular to demand payments for social networks like Facebook to spread their news content. Meta then announced that such content would no longer be available to Canadian Facebook users ahead of the legislation. The Online News Act is scheduled to come into force in December.

Canada has been battling devastating fires in several parts of the country for months, in the worst known wildfire season in the country’s history. Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes in several affected areas in the provinces of British Columbia and the Northwest Territories. In large parts of Northwest America, the air quality also decreased noticeably due to the circulating smoke.


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