Google has announced its decision to block Canadian news content in response to a new law passed by Canada’s parliament. The law, known as the Online News Act, requires tech giants like Google and Meta’s Facebook to negotiate agreements with Canadian news providers. Meta had already revealed plans to restrict news content for its Canadian users. The legislation is scheduled to take effect in six months. This move by Google mirrors a similar situation in Australia, where a comparable law was amended. Two years ago, Meta briefly blocked users in Australia from sharing or viewing news on its platforms, prompting lawmakers to make changes to the legislation. Following the amendments, Google and Meta successfully negotiated more than 30 deals with Australian media companies.

Previously, Google had criticized the Canadian law, deeming it “unworkable” in its current form and proposing amendments. However, the Canadian government maintains that the legislation will ensure fair compensation for struggling news outlets and enhance fairness in the digital news market within the country. While Google’s decision to block Canadian news links raises concerns for media associations and outlets reliant on the search engine for web traffic, the duration of this ban and its implications for Canadian users remain uncertain. Google has expressed its intent to participate in the regulatory process and maintain transparency with Canadians and publishers. News Media Canada, representing numerous news organizations, believes there is still potential for a balanced and fair resolution, urging all stakeholders to engage actively in the regulatory process.