Google blocks access to news in Canada in response to test billing | Technology

Google page on mobile — Photo: Alastair Pike/AFP

Google has blocked access to several news sites in Canada as part of a test to respond to a bill that will force the internet giant to pay for dissemination of content from local media, the company confirmed this Thursday (23).

The restrictions on access to news portals began earlier this month and will last five weeks, affecting 4% of search engine users in Canada, the company said.

Google “briefly tested a potential in-product response” to a measure known as the Online News Act, company spokesman Shay Purdy told AFP.

The text was unveiled in April and is currently being discussed in the Senate.

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“We run thousands of tests every year to assess the potential for any changes in browsing,” adds Purdy.

The text aims to help the news editor sector in Canada and which, according to Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, is “in crisis”.

On the other hand, Google and other internet giants, such as Meta (owner of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter), criticized the project as redundant.

More than 450 news sites have been shut down in Canada since 2008 as digital platforms expand. The press accuses Google and Meta of profiting from their content through advertisements.

The new law will require tech giants to make fair dealings with Canadian media outlets for news and information shared on their platforms.

Clara Burton

"Geek zombie. Subtly charming social media scholar. Beer enthusiast. Lifelong bacon pioneer."

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