American Faith’s Social Media Blocked in Canada

American Faith (AF) has learned that its social media content is blocked in Canada.

When a reader in Canada attempted to find AF’s Instagram account, the following message appeared: “People in Canada can’t see this content. In response to Canadian government legislation, news content can’t be viewed in Canada.”

Image from individual in Canada

A source close to American Faith said of the matter, “The Soviet Union used to do the same thing under communism. Ban all news on radio from other countries and make people only listen to their propaganda. People used to pirate foreign news to hear what’s happening. If anyone found out and ratted them out, they go to jail.”

The situation may be connected to Canada’s Online News Act, formerly known as C-18.

The Online News Act became law in 2023 and is “intended to help Canadian news organizations reach fair commercial agreements with the largest online platforms, such as search engines and social media sites,” according to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

Google’s Canada Blog said on June 29, 2023, that the move was “unprecedented.”

“The Government of Canada has enacted a new law called Bill C-18 (the Online News Act), requiring two companies to pay for simply showing links to news, something that everyone else does for free. The unprecedented decision to put a price on links (a so-called ‘link tax’) creates uncertainty for our products and exposes us to uncapped financial liability simply for facilitating Canadians’ access to news from Canadian publishers,” the blog post read. “We have been saying for over a year that this is the wrong approach to supporting journalism in Canada and may result in significant changes to our products.”

In other words, platforms would have to pay companies for posting news articles.

On August 1, 2023, Meta began blocking U.S. news articles on its social media platforms, which include Facebook and Instagram, in Canada. “In order to comply with the Online News Act, we have begun the process of ending news availability in Canada,” Meta announced. “These changes start today, and will be implemented for all people accessing Facebook and Instagram in Canada over the course of the next few weeks.”

Meta added that “people in Canada can continue to access news online by going directly to news publishers’ websites, downloading mobile news apps, and subscribing to their preferred publishers.”

California proposed a similar bill last year.

The California Journalism Preservation Act would require tech giants to pay media outlets for sharing news content.

“The bill fails to recognize that publishers and broadcasters put their content on our platform themselves and that substantial consolidation in California’s local news industry came over 15 years ago, well before Facebook was widely used,” a Meta spokesperson said in a statement. “It is disappointing that California lawmakers appear to be prioritizing the best interests of national and international media companies over their own constituents.”