Fb Canada head rejects concept of Australia-style information fee guidelines
The head of Facebook Canada says rules requiring publishers to be paid for news content linked on its website would be a worst-case scenario for the social media giant.
At a parliamentary committee hearing today, Kevin Chan said such a ruling would hinder a free and open internet. He said Facebook was already helping the problems of older media outlets by directing traffic to their websites.
Last month, Facebook blackened all news on its platform in Australia in response to looming legislation requiring digital giants to pay traditional news companies for their journalism.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Australian counterpart agreed to continue “coordinating efforts” to ensure the web giants’ revenues are more fairly shared with creators and media after Facebook signed a deal with the Australian government on a revised bill – the this technology still urges titans to spend money on content.
New Democratic MP Heather McPherson accused web giants and the Liberal government of having a “cozy relationship” with Big Tech that protects the platforms’ profits at the expense of local media and Canadian taxpayers.
Chan notes that Facebook Canada has announced $ 18 million investments in sustainable business models over a six-year period.
However, Australian legislation is “never something we would ever do if we really had no choice,” Chan told MPs on Monday.
Lawmakers also raised concerns about online hate speech and disinformation regarding COVID-19 vaccines – two issues that Chan said the company wants to address while maintaining freedom of expression.
The government is working on a tripartite response to the challenges social media platforms and other large internet-based content providers pose to media regulation in Canada, said Minister for Cultural Heritage Steven Guilbeault.
Part of the answer is a bill currently being presented to the House of Commons to modernize the broadcasting regime, while a second part is currently working on how large internet companies are taxed and how traditional media companies are financially supported.
Online hatred is the third pillar; Global observers continue to question Facebook’s role in tragedies ranging from the shooting at Christchurch Mosque in New Zealand to deadly military violence against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar to racist posts in Canada.
Facebook is funding a grant that supports journalistic positions at The Canadian Press.