THUNDER BAY – TECH – Google is planning to block some Canadian users from viewing news content in what the company says is a test run of a potential response to the Liberal government’s C-18 online news bill.
According to Google, this legislation would fundamentally break the way its search engine operates, and the company has threatened to remove its search engine from Canada altogether if the legislation goes ahead. The Canadian government has responded by accusing Google of bullying and trying to blackmail the country.
The proposed legislation would require tech companies like Google to pay news organizations for content that is featured on their platforms. The move is designed to address the growing concerns over the power that tech giants hold in the news industry, and the impact this has on traditional news outlets.
Many news organizations have criticized Google’s decision, arguing that it sets a dangerous precedent for the future of journalism. They also worry that smaller news organizations will be hit the hardest if they are no longer able to rely on the traffic generated by Google’s search engine.
Since government decided to intervene in the news business:
•Google & FB throttling traffic to news sites
•News orgs divided into bailout $ winners & losers
• Public trust in journalism has nosedived
•Layoffs & closures continue at major newspapershttps://t.co/T8P8FvUWUA
— Jesse Brown (@JesseBrown) February 24, 2023
As the national voice of Canada’s private broadcasters, the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) sees Google’s tactic to limit news content for some users in Canada as reinforcing why Bill C-18, the Online News Act, is so vital.
“These are bully tactics, and Google is trying to push the Senate to back down on Bill C-18. We hope Senators will see these actions for what they are,” says Canadian Association of Broadcasters President Kevin Desjardins. “Bill C-18 was introduced to set up fair negotiations between news organizations and these global digital giants on the value of their news content. Google has shown they’re willing to block Canadians’ vital access to legitimate news content to maintain their dominance in the advertising field.”