Canadian Lawmaker Vows to Make Facebook Pay for News Content

Canada vowed to make Facebook pay for its news content as the social media giant faced international condemnation for imposing a blackout on Australia.

Facebook has been labelled a “schoolyard bully” for blocking links to news outlets in Australia in response to a planned law requiring it to pay for news shared on its site.

Now, Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault said late Thursday that his country would be next in making sure Facebook paid for news content, explains a new report from Reuters.

Guilbeault, in charge of drafting similar media legislation that is to be unveiled in the coming months, condemned Facebook’s action in Australia and said it would not deter Ottawa.

“News is not free and has never been,” said Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault earlier this month.

“Our position is clear: publishers must be adequately compensated for their work and we will support them as they deliver essential information for the benefit of our democracy and the health and well-being of our communities.”

Guilbeault said Thursday that Facebook’s actions are imperiling public safety, given that the news ban initially led to the temporary shutdown of Facebook pages run by key government agencies, including a suicide-prevention service and a fire-and-rescue organization.

“I must condemn what Facebook is doing,” he said Thursday during an online news conference. “I think what Facebook is doing in Australia is highly irresponsible and compromises the safety of many Australian people.”