Broadcasters Are Furious Meta Would Rather Remove News Links in Canada Than Pay

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters and U.S.-based National Association of Broadcasters have issued a joint statement condemning Meta for preventing users from linking to news on its platforms in Canada following the passage of the Online News Act:

Meta – a nearly trillion-dollar company – repeatedly chooses to restrict news content for its users to avoid compensating news producers for the value it gains on their vital journalism. These retaliatory tactics demonstrate Meta’s monopolistic dominance over the advertising marketplace and its ability to dictate how radio and TV broadcasters, newspapers and others can reach audiences online. […]

CBC/Radio-Canada has co-signed this statement.

The nature of Meta’s business is that it gains value just about any time anyone interacts with its platforms, but broadcasters are in a class of their own for demanding payment for external links to their work. I understand their argument: if a business in Calgary wants to advertise online to an audience in Calgary, they will likely buy advertising from U.S. companies instead of through Calgary-based media outlets. But a tax on links is a poor way to address a problem with the business model. Also, Meta does not have a monopoly on online advertising, nor does it dominate.

The broadcasters are asking the Competition Bureau to investigate Meta over what it sees is a “retaliatory” measure. The Bureau says it is looking into whether it has any reason to intervene.

Bryan Carney, the Tyee:

So how will you keep up with your favourite publishers during this war of brinkmanship? Well, one way might be Really Simple.

As in: Really Simple Syndication, or RSS.

Carney neglects to mention NetNewsWire, still the best feed reader for MacOS and iOS.

Update: The Beaverton is outraged Meta considers it “news”.