Google has announced that for users in Canada, it will remove Canadian news from its search engine, news aggregator and Discover app, which provides users with a list of news articles and videos. This is reported by thestar.com.
The tech giant will also shut down its Google News Showcase program, which promotes the profiles of more than 150 publications across the country. Such changes will affect local residents in about six months. This will come as Ottawa’s recently passed Internet News Act is expected to come into effect.
“We’re disappointed it has come to this. We don’t take this decision or its impacts lightly and believe it’s important to be transparent with Canadian publishers and our users as early as possible,” Google’s president of global affairs Kent Walker wrote in a blog post.
For his part, Canada’s Minister of Cultural Heritage, Pablo Rodriguez, offered no solutions in response to the announcement.
“Big tech would rather spend money to change their platforms to block Canadians from accessing good quality and local news instead of paying their fair share to news organizations. This shows how deeply irresponsible and out of touch they are, especially when they make billions of dollars off of Canadian users,” the minister said in a statement.
Ottawa’s Online News Act will force platforms such as Google and Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, to enter into agreements with Canadian media publishers to share, preview and redirect users to online news content. After the adoption of the document, the company Meta announced its readiness to close access to news on its social networks in Canada.