Study finds that Canadian news heavily influenced by war with Meta

Canadian news most impacted by war with Meta: study

“In a world where social media platforms reign supreme, Meta appears to have emerged victorious in its showdown against the Canadian government’s Online News Act, as per a recent study by the Media Ecosystem Observatory.

Meta’s strategic move to eliminate Canadian news content rather than complying with the legislation to compensate news outlets seems to have paid off, with no noticeable decline in user engagement on their platforms.

The study, a joint effort between the University of Toronto and McGill University, sheds light on the aftermath of Meta’s news ban, revealing a stark impact on local Canadian news outlets.

Unintended Consequences for Local News Outlets

Despite the ban failing to dampen user interaction, it has dealt a heavy blow to local news channels, the very entities the legislation aimed to safeguard.

While national news outlets managed to weather the storm due to lower reliance on Facebook visibility, smaller local news sources bore the brunt, some even opting out of the platform entirely, leading to a significant drop in local news visibility.

Adapting to Change

Faced with the restrictions, Canadians swiftly pivoted by resorting to sharing news articles through screenshots, maintaining their news-sharing habits despite the ban. Consequently, Meta’s blockade on news transmission didn’t seem to deter the number or engagement of active Canadian Facebook users.

The Disparity between National and Local Outlets

The disparity in outcomes between national and local news outlets is glaring, with national sources witnessing a 64% dip in Facebook engagement while local news platforms suffered an 85% decline.

As the battle between the government and Canadians unfolds, it’s evident that Canada’s national news outlets fared better under the circumstances compared to their smaller counterparts, many of whom ceased Facebook activities shortly after the ban.

Dire Ramifications for Canadians

The severe consequences of losing local news presence on Facebook became apparent during dire situations like wildfires in Canada, where vital information dissemination was stalled, highlighting how crucial Facebook had become for sharing critical updates.

The Persistence of Facebook Users

Contrary to expectations, the study indicates that Canadians’ interaction with Meta’s platforms remained steady post-ban, with no significant platform exodus witnessed among the users, suggesting a resilient user base.

Navigating Global Engagement

Some news outlets managed to maintain engagement on their Facebook pages by catering to users outside Canada, underscoring the evolving strategies adopted by news organizations to stay afloat in the digital realm.

As the tussle between tech giants and governments continues, the impact on local news ecosystems persists, calling for a nuanced approach that considers the diverse stakeholders involved.

In a landscape dominated by digital platforms, the fate of local news outlets serves as a poignant reminder of the intricate dynamics between legislation, digital platforms, and the pivotal role of media in shaping societal narratives. Ultimately, the quest for balance and fairness in this ever-evolving realm remains a pressing challenge for all stakeholders involved.”



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