A Google spokesperson said the tech company is blocking some Canadian users from viewing news content in response to the Liberal government’s online news bill.
The proposed Online News Act, also known as Measure C-18, would require digital giants like Google and Meta, which owns Facebook, to negotiate compensatory agreements for Canadian media company for republishing their content on their platform.
The company says it is restricting access to online news content to less than four percent of Canadian users using its products, which include the popular search engine and Discover feature on websites. Android device carrying sports news and stories.
The company said all types of news content are affected by the test, which will run for about five weeks, including content created by Canadian broadcasters and newspapers.
A spokesman for Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said that Canadians would not be intimidated and said it was disappointing that Google borrowed from Meta’s playbook.
That company threatened to block news from its website last year in response to the bill.
Google spokesperson Shay Purdy said in a written statement on Wednesday: “We are briefly testing the product’s potential reactions to Bill C-18, affecting a very small percentage of the population. small Canadian users”.
The company does thousands of tests a year, he adds, to evaluate any potential changes to its search engine.
“We are completely transparent about our concern that C-18 is too pervasive and, if not changed, could affect the products Canadians use and rely on every day,” Purdy said.
“We remain committed to supporting a sustainable future for news in Canada and delivering solutions that fix Bill C-18.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on February 22, 2023.