Hamilton moves to stop advertising on Meta platforms
The city of Hamilton indicates support for Canada’s Bill C-18 by ceasing advertisements on Facebook and Instagram
This move by the municipal government is an act in solidarity with the Canadian federal government’s recently filed Bill C-18.
Bill C-18, the Online News Act received Royal Assent in June 2023. The act requires big tech companies, such as Meta, to come to agreements with Canadian news outlets in order to compensate them for featuring and sharing links to the outlets' content. As part of this bill, Meta could be required to pay as much as $234 million to news outlets in Canada.
In response to the legislation though, which Meta believes to be flawed, the company has made news content unavailable and unviewable to individuals residing in Canada.
People residing in Canada who attempt to access news content on Meta platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, are presented with a message stating that they cannot see news content in response to the legislation.
The motion to halt advertisements on Meta platforms in solidarity with Bill C-18 was put forth on Oct. 4 by councillor John-Paul Danko of Ward 8. Though support for the motion was not unanimous, with concerns being brought forth regarding the impact on the city’s ability to relay information to citizens, the motion passed two weeks after proposal.
Danko defended the motion by stating that while there may be an effect on reaching citizens, these can be managed. He also stated that Bill C-18 is important for protecting Canadian journalism and media outlets from large tech companies like Meta.
The city of Hamilton is not alone in its decision to boycott Meta as a show of support for the Online News Act and the federal government. The governments of Quebec City and the Province of Quebec, as well as the federal government itself, have also made the same decision as Hamilton.
While talks between the federal government and Meta are ongoing, it remains unclear for how long Meta's news ban on their platforms will continue and when the situation will be resolved.
This is an ongoing story.