Google blocks access to news in Canada

The company said restricted access to news portals began earlier this month and will be in effect for five weeks, affecting 4% of users of its popular search engine in Canada.

Via AFP

Google confirmed Thursday that Google has blocked access to some Canadian news websites as part of a test response to a bill that would force web giants to pay to stream local media content.

The company said restricted access to news portals began earlier this month and will be in effect for five weeks, affecting 4% of users of its popular search engine in Canada.

Google spokesman Shay Purdy told AFP that Google is “briefly testing potential in-product reactions” to a regulation known as the Online News Act.

The text was introduced in April and is currently being debated in the Senate.

“We run thousands of tests a year to assess any potential changes in the research,” Purdy added.

The script aims to help Canada’s news publishing sector which, according to Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, is “in crisis”.

For their part, Google and other corporate giants, including Facebook parent Meta, have decried it as excessive.

More than 450 news websites have closed down in Canada since 2008, with digital platforms gaining space. The press accuses Google and Meta of profiting from their content through ads.

The new law will require tech giants to make fair trade deals with Canadian media outlets for news and information shared on their platforms.

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Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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