Meta to test limiting some news access on Facebook, Instagram in Canada

Meta Platforms Inc. (META.O) said on Thursday that it would start trying a feature that will stop certain users and writers in Canada from reading or sharing certain news stories on Facebook and Instagram.

The social media giant also said that the small number of Canadian users taking part in testing will be told if they want to share news stories during the test phase, which will last for a few weeks.

The criteria were developed in response to the proposed “Online News Act” in Canada. The rule, first put up in April of last year, would encourage companies like Meta and Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company (GOOGL.O), to enter into commercial agreements and compensate Canadian news publishers for their content.

In March, Meta issued a warning that Canadians would not currently have the choice to access news content on the proposed measure’s basis if it were to pass in its current form.

The tests were deemed “unacceptable” by Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, who proposed the idea last year.

The author claims it constitutes a threat when a significant tech business warns us, “If you don’t do this or that, then I’m pulling the plug.” Rodriguez told Reuters that I’ve never reacted to a threat out of fear.

As a trial run for a potential response to the online journalism bill, Google launched comparable tests earlier this year that blocked news items for select Canadian customers.

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