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Media companies began pulling advertising from some social media platforms and telling readers and viewers how to access news directly as Google and Meta META-Q moved toward blocking Canadian news from their services.

News and telecommunications company Quebecor Inc. QBR-B-T announced Wednesday it would immediately withdraw advertising from Meta’s Facebook and Instagram platforms, a move that comes after the tech giant’s decision to remove Canadian news from its sites.

“Any move by Meta to circumvent Canadian law, block news for its users or discriminate against Canadian media content on its platforms, through its algorithms or otherwise, cannot be tolerated,” Quebecor said in a press release.

Meta has chosen to block Canadian news from its social media services in response to the federal Online News Act, which will require Google and Meta to pay news publishers for content that appears on their sites if it helps them generate money. The act known as Bill C-18 is due to come into effect later this year.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault said Wednesday the province is also suspending advertising on Facebook and Instagram until Meta resumes talks about the implementation of the federal Online News Act. Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez also announced that the federal government will pull ads off the platforms.

Like Meta, Google has vowed to block Canadian news from its search engine and other news products because of the act. Neither company has provided an exact timeline for the removal of Canadian news.

What to know about Bill C-18, the new law that will affect how you get news in Canada

Quebecor said it is pulling ads from Meta because of the company’s “categorical refusal” to enter into negotiations around compensating media companies.

Quebecor owns telecommunications company Videotron as well as TVA Group, which includes the TVA television network, specialty channels and magazines. It also owns the Journal de Montreal and Journal de Quebec newspapers.

In addition to posting content on Meta’s platforms, it has sometimes bought ads on Facebook and Instagram. For example, the Facebook ads library linked to Quebecor’s TVA Nouvelles showed the brand had bought ads showcasing its 2022 election coverage while Le Journal de Quebec recently ran an ad with Tourisme Isle-aux-Coudres.

Cogeco, which owns and operates 21 talk and music radio stations across Quebec, also announced on Wednesday it will be pulling ads off the platforms.

“Cogeco also calls on all levels of government to follow suit and temporarily stop investing in advertising on Meta platforms,” the company said in a statement.

Earlier, CBC News’ editor-in-chief Brodie Fenlon released an article describing how he was unable to see posts on the brand’s Instagram page, which now has a note saying the content is being blocked “in response to Canadian government legislation. "

“Nonetheless, we know large numbers of Canadians rely on Google and Meta to discover our news coverage,” Fenlon wrote.

“If those sources suddenly cut off access to our news, as Meta did for some Instagram users this week, then we want to ensure Canadians know where to go to find our journalism elsewhere.”

He then listed a variety of ways CBC content could be accessed independent of Meta and Google, including on the company’s news and streaming apps, websites, televisions, radios, newsletters, YouTube and voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

“Wide access to independent fact-based journalism is a pillar of any healthy democracy and we aim to be anywhere people are looking for news,” Fenlon wrote.

“If third-party platforms independently decide to get out of the news business, for whatever reason, rest assured we will help you find our journalism and make it as easily accessible to you as possible.”

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Tickers mentioned in this story

Study and track financial data on any traded entity: click to open the full quote page. Data updated as of 19/04/24 4:00pm EDT.

SymbolName% changeLast
QBR-B-T
Quebecor Inc Cl B Sv
+0.11%28.55
QBR-A-T
Quebecor Inc Cl A Mv
0%28.38
META-Q
Meta Platforms Inc
-4.13%481.07

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