Google News has always had a. tumultuous journey to being the most popular news service. Major media outlets and governments always want them to pay so news organizations can make extra money. This most recently happened in Australia. Canada is now in Google’s crosshairs with new media law. Google is rolling out tests that block access to news content for some Canadian users, the company confirmed on Wednesday, in what it says is a test run of a potential response to the government’s online news bill.
The “Online News Act,” or House of Commons bill C-18, introduced in April by Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, laid out rules to force platforms Facebook and Google to negotiate commercial deals and pay news publishers for their content.’
“We’re briefly testing potential product responses to Bill C-18 that impact a tiny percentage of Canadian users. We run thousands of tests yearly to assess any potential changes to Search,” a Google spokesperson said in an email statement to Good e-Reader.
In a tweet, Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said Canadians wouldn’t be intimidated by Google’s behaviour. “It’s disappointing to hear that Google is trying to block access to news sites,” he said. “Canadians won’t be intimidated. All we’re asking the tech giants to do is compensate journalists when they use their work.”
Why is Canada looking to pass this law and concerts Google and Facebook to pay media organizations? Print and digital versions of Canadian news make little money since advertisers have shifted to paying for digital ads. They want to recoup financial losses it has suffered in the years that Facebook and Google have steadily gained a more significant market share of advertising. More than 450 news outlets in Canada have closed since 2008, including 64 closures in the last two years.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.