Google’s News Shake-Up: Local News Links Dropped in Canada


In response to the recent adoption of the Online News Act in Canada, better known as Bill C-18, Google has stated that it will be deleting connections to Canadian news sources from its Search, News, and Discover platforms. Major tech corporations like Google and Meta (formerly Facebook) are required by this rule to compensate news publishers for their material.

In a blog post, Kent Walker, the president of global affairs at Google, voiced his reservations about the law and referred to it as a “link tax.” He claimed that by making it easier for Canadians to get news from Canadian publishers, this action has put Google’s goods in doubt and exposed the corporation to possibly limitless financial exposure. Google has been planning for this scenario and had tried out blocking news in the past, back in February. Google will take down links to Canadian news once the law goes into effect, which is anticipated to be in six months. In addition, Google will stop promoting its Google News Showcase product in Canada, which emphasizes local news.

In reaction to the bill, Meta (Facebook) had earlier declared a similar choice to remove news from its platforms in Canada. This action by Google and Meta continues a trend of internet titans reacting to laws intended to force them to pay for news material. Due to a similar rule, Google threatened to remove news from its platform in Australia in 2021, but it ultimately reached arrangements with local publishers.

The Online News Act in Canada is a part of a global movement in which governments are making an effort to address the difficulties faced by traditional news publishers and make sure that tech companies pay them for their content, which is frequently shared and distributed on digital platforms without any direct payment.

The effects of these choices on the media environment and the public’s access to news content are still up for discussion and concern since they may have an impact on the viability of news organizations and the accessibility of information to users.

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