(LifeSiteNews) — Many Canadians have lost access to LifeSiteNews posts on social media due to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government’s newly passed “Online News Act.”
Numerous Canadians have recently been notified by social media platform Instagram – which is owned by Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta – that they are blocked from viewing LifeSiteNews content on the platform as the company refuses to pay publishing fees outlined in the recently passed Online News Act.
“People in Canada can’t see this content,” a notification blocking posts from the LifeSiteNews Instagram account reads.
“In response to Canadian government legislation news content can’t be viewed in Canada,” it continues.
BREAKING: LifeSiteNews is BLOCKED on @Instagram!
— LifeSiteNews (@LifeSite) July 24, 2023
The law mandates that online tech companies be forced to pay publishers for news content shared on their sites.
However, the loss of access seems to be at random as some Canadians have full access to news accounts while others remain blocked.
While many Canadians are unable to access LifeSiteNews on social media, direct access to the website is still available. Similarly, Google has yet to censor news content for Canadians, despite promising to remove links to Canadian news from search results.
Other Canadian media accounts have also been blocked including the government-funded CBC News and private news outlets such as Rebel News.
Immediately after the bill was passed, Meta, the parent company of both Instagram and Facebook, announced it would end news availability for Canadians prior to the bill taking effect.
Facebook had previously ran a test which blocked news content for about 5 percent of Canadians.
While Meta has censored content, Twitter has yet to announce how it will react to the new legislation.
The Trudeau government is facing major backlash against Bill C-18 as tech companies refuse to pay to publish Canadian content.
According to a recent survey by the Angus Reid Institute, most Canadians are concerned about losing access to news due to Bill C-18.
Last week, the Trudeau government seemed to have caved to Google by amending the internet censorship act to not force companies to pay for Canadian news content, but instead offer “non-monetary offerings.”
The introduction of that amendment appears to contradict Trudeau’s recent remarks in which he condemned Google’s censorship as an “attack” on Canadians.
Similarly, the government announced that it will pull its advertisements from Facebook and Instagram after parent company Meta said it will block Canadians’ access to news on its sites due to Bill C-18.
While the act was initially feared to allow the government to censor what Canadians view online, it may backfire if large tech companies refuse to pay to publish content.
Bill C-18 gives the Canadian Radio-television and telecommunications Commission (CRTC) the power to determine which news content qualifies for special privileges, such as financial kick-backs from Big Tech platforms where the content is shared.
According to the bill, to be considered “eligible,” a news outlet must be “a qualified Canadian journalism organization” and produce “news content of public interest that is primarily focused on matters of general interest and reports of current events.”
It is up to the unelected CRTC to decide which news outlets are to be considered “eligible,” something that has sparked fear about the future of independent media in Canada.