Seed World

Understanding the Impact of Bill C-18

Bill C-18 is a new bill that was recently passed by the Canadian government. The bill will officially come into effect at the end of this calendar year on Dec. 23, 2023 but it’s already influencing the way Canadians consume news.

The new bill will impact how Canadians are able to view their news online, specifically when it comes to social media. Meta and Google are the organizations covered under it and will be required to compensate media organizations to show users news on their platforms.

During a recent episode of Seed Speaks, Ashely Robinson, editor of Alberta Seed Guide, and Rebecca Carmeli-Peslak, digital media producer for Seed World Group (SWG), discussed the new bill, the impacts of it and how to navigate the future.

Robinson, who is from Canada herself, was able to offer some insight on how the impact the bill impacts has already had.

“If I go on to my Facebook page here in Canada, I can’t see any news,” shares Robinson. “I can’t go and check out the Globe and Mail and I can’t go and check the New York Times, even though they’re not a Canadian news organization. They still share news.”

There’s still a lot of uncertainty around the bill right now as not all news accounts are blocked. Meta and Google still could pay to show news, but Meta especially has taken a strong stand against that.

“It’s been kind of a mess right now and we really don’t know what’s happening,” continues Robinson.

While this bill is currently only impacting readers in Canada, it could have ripple effects worldwide as Australia has had a similar bill in the past.

“We don’t know what the effects will be worldwide,” Carmeli-Peslak says. “There’s a lot of uncertainty around what this bill will bring and if we could potentially see it happening here in the U.S. or in the EU as well.”

The uncertainty surrounding this bill will continue to be navigated by news organizations, social platforms, readers and beyond. SWG will continue to offer news that can be viewed directly on the publications’ websites.

Carmeli-Peslak reiterates the SWG statement from earlier this month, “It [Bill C-18] doesn’t mean that our stories and posts have disappeared. You’ll still be able to find all our content and updates from SWG properties by visiting our website home pages directly and through our newsletters. You will also be able to find us and on our LinkedIn and X previously Twitter, social media pages.”

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