Today’s case is about Google and Canada. Canada is working on a new bill dubbed the “Online News Act” or Bill C-18. If signed into law, it would require Google to pay publishers for using info from their content. And Google decides to test not showing any news to Canadians, reports 9to5Google.
Google tests a complete block of news content in Search in Canada with a small percentage of users, as a response to Bill C-18
The “Online News Act” or Bill C-18 would require Google and other tech giants to make deals with news organizations in the country when their products (for our case here, we’re talking about Search) use content from journalists or news outlets. You know that when you search for something, Google uses “snippets” to give you the exact information, by taking text from a news publication. This way, you often get your answer even without going to the news website. Mainly this is what Bill C-18 is trying to compensate for.
Now, Google is performing a test for a small percentage of users, 4%, situated in Canada. The test blocks news content in Search. It will reportedly be live for five weeks and includes content by Canadian broadcasters and newspapers.
A Google spokesperson stated that the company is testing “potential product responses to Bill C-18” and expresses their concern that “C-18 is overly broad and, if unchanged, could impact products Canadians use and rely on every day”.
On the other hand, Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez had something to say about the test on Twitter:
That’s why we introduced the Online News Act. Tech giants need to be more transparent and accountable to Canadians. (2/2)
— Pablo Rodriguez (@pablorodriguez) February 23, 2023
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