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Canadian Minister Announces Support for Australia Against Facebook’s Threats

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Amid the growing tensions between Facebook and Australia over a proposed law in the country, Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault has announced that Canada stands with the Australian government and won’t tolerate “any form of threats” from the social networking giant, the Financial Post is reporting.

Steven Guilbeault 1

According to the proposed law, Facebook will be forced to pay local media outlets in Australia for its content. In response, the company has threatened to block Australians from sharing news content on its platform if the proposal is passed into law.

“This is not our first choice — it is our last. But it is the only way to protect against an outcome that defies logic and will hurt, not help, the long-term vibrancy of Australia’s news and media sector,” said Facebook Australia and New Zealand managing director Will Easton.

In an emailed statement, Guilbeault said that Canada is considering similar steps to support news organizations.

“We are following very closely what measures our partners, including France and Australia, are putting in place to support their news organizations and considering options for a made-in-Canada framework,” Guilbeault said.

Guilbeault also wrote that the government will make sure the Canadian news organizations “continue to inform and empower our communities.”

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