Meta Bans News Amid Canada Wildfires, Harder to spread vital Info


The raging Canada wildfires have already made thousands leave their homes, their lives behind and go to a safe place. Among such difficult times, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has banned news on its platform. Why? Because Canada will soon implement a law requiring social media platforms to compensate news outlets. Meta calls this law “fundamentally flawed”, hence even before the law could be implemented, it has already stopped sharing news. 

But evacuees say this news ban has deeply impacted their ability to share vital information with each other. 

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Meta blocks news sharing 

Since 1st August, Meta started restricting its users to share or post news content on both Instagram and Facebook. This decision has been criticized by many, but more so since the wildfires in Canada have started raging on. Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, called this decision of Meta as “inconceivable”. 

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Meta basically came up with this decision after the Online News Act (Bill C-18) passed Canadian parliament. After coming into effect, this law will require platforms such as Meta and Google to come up with deals with news publishers so they can use their content on their platforms. 

Meta called this law, “fundamentally flawed legislation that ignores the realities of how our platforms work”.

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What impacts are the people facing?  

Canada is currently facing its worst wildfire season and because of that, around 60,000 people have been asked to evacuate to safer places. Now, if you were stuck in such a situation where you need crucial information about the wildfire, but you cannot access any news regarding that on Facebook or Instagram, imagine what will happen. 

Well, this is the reality for people of Canada as of now. They are not able to share any news content to each other and pass on any important information that others may require. 

After facing much criticism from Canadian officials, Meta said that it has activated a “Safety Check” feature which will let users living in evacuated areas to show themselves safe. Furthermore, it said that those using the Safety Check would be able to access ”reputable information, including content from official government agencies”.  

The thing about Facebook is that it connects people. Most of the people use the popular social media platform to share not just entertaining items but also useful information and news content. But if Meta bans news content, it will have a deep effect on people when it comes to spreading important information. 

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Niyati Chaurasia

Niyati Chaurasia

Niyati’s specialty lies in Canadian immigration matters along with crafting helpful, user-oriented content.

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