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B.C. drops Facebook, Instagram advertising in response to Meta’s news block, says Eby

The British Columbia government says it has stopped advertising on Facebook and Instagram to send a message to parent company Meta, which is blocking Canadian news from the social media platforms.
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B.C. Premier David Eby speaks during a news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023. The British Columbia government says it has stopped advertising on Facebook and Instagram to send a message to parent company Meta, which is blocking Canadian news from the social media platforms. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The British Columbia government says it has stopped advertising on Facebook and Instagram to send a message to parent company Meta, which is blocking Canadian news from the social media platforms.

Premier David Eby says in a statement Meta’s decision to cut off news access for many people in British Columbia who use the social media sites is “unacceptable.”

Meta recently announced it will block Canadian news on its platforms in response to the new federal Online News Act, which became law on June 22, 2023.

The act, expected to come into force within six months, will require the largest digital platforms, including Meta and Google, to negotiate with Canadian news businesses and pay for the use of their content.

Eby’s statement says B.C. wants to send a strong message to Meta that journalism is a vital public service and news access should not be blocked.

The statement says B.C will only advertise on Meta to provide the public with critical information related to public health and safety emergencies, including wildfire information.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 14, 2023.

The Canadian Press