Google to limit some Canadians from viewing news in response to Ottawa’s Bill C-18 – National

Google is obstructing some Canadian customers from viewing news content material in what the corporate says is a take a look at run of a possible response to the Liberal authorities’s on-line news invoice.

Often known as Bill C-18, the On-line News Act would require digital giants equivalent to Google and Meta, which owns Fb, to negotiate offers that might compensate Canadian media corporations for republishing their content material on their platforms.

The corporate mentioned Wednesday that it’s quickly limiting entry to news content material for underneath 4 per cent of its Canadian customers because it assesses attainable responses to the invoice. The change applies to its ubiquitous search engine in addition to the Uncover characteristic on Android units, which carries news and sports activities tales.

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All sorts of news content material are being affected by the take a look at, which is able to run for about 5 weeks, the corporate mentioned. That features content material created by Canadian broadcasters and newspapers.

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“We’re briefly testing potential product responses to Bill C-18 that influence a really small proportion of Canadian customers,” Google spokesman Shay Purdy mentioned in a written assertion on Wednesday in response to questions from The Canadian Press.

The corporate runs hundreds of exams annually to assess any potential adjustments to its search engine, he added.


“We’ve been totally clear about our concern that C-18 is overly broad and, if unchanged, may influence merchandise Canadians use and depend on on daily basis,” Purdy mentioned.

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A spokeswoman for Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez mentioned Canadians won’t be intimidated and known as it disappointing that Google is borrowing from Meta’s playbook.

Final yr, that firm threatened to block news off its website in response to the invoice.

“This didn’t work in Australia, and it gained’t work right here as a result of Canadians gained’t be intimidated. On the finish of the day, all we’re asking the tech giants to do is compensate journalists after they use their work,” spokeswoman Laura Scaffidi mentioned in a press release Wednesday.

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“Canadians want to have entry to high quality, truth-primarily based news on the native and nationwide ranges, and that’s why we launched the On-line News Act. Tech giants want to be extra clear and accountable to Canadians.”

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