Facebook and Instagram posts may be stopped by City of Hamilton in wake of Meta news ban


Published October 3, 2023 at 11:50 am

stop meta hamilton
Photo: Julio Lopez

In the wake of a Meta news ban in Canada, the City of Hamilton will consider stopping all non-critical posts on Facebook and Instagram.

Ward 8 Councillor John-Paul Danko is proposing the city stop posting on Meta platforms in a motion at the General Issues Committee tomorrow (Oct. 4).

News stories currently cannot be shared on Meta sites following the introduction of the Online News Act (or Bill C-18), a bill meant to force big tech companies such as Google and Meta to compensate Canadian media outlets for news content appearing on their platforms.

In response to the Online News Act, Meta has blocked news posts for Canadians on its Facebook and Instagram platforms since Aug. 1.

Danko’s motion suggests “that any new, non-critical advertising campaigns by Public Information and Media Relations be immediately suspended on all Meta-owned platforms…”

The suspension would last until Meta resumes discussions with the Government of Canada, or until it reverses its ban on placing Canadian media news stories on its platforms up to a maximum of six months, the motion reads.

The City of Hamilton currently posts on both Instagram and Facebook.

stop meta hamilton

Ward 8 Councillor John-Paul Danko is proposing the city stop posting on Meta platforms.

“Meta has refused to comply with federal legislation, the Online News Act, and instead has deliberately chosen to disadvantage 40 million Canadians, including nearly 600,000 Hamilton residents, by removing the ability to share local and national news on their platforms, limiting the ability for Canadians to view content from local and national news publications in Canada,” the motion reads.

The motion also suggests that getting critical information out news such as severe weather conditions, crime and the COVID-19 pandemic is critically essential.

And Meta’s ban limits the ability to get critical and timely updates from local media.

“Hamilton residents have a fundamental right to a strong, free, and independent Press, one that is not censored or dictated by American social media giants,” the motion reads.

Danko also proposes that the motion be shared with the Ontario Premier’s Office, local Members of Parliament, local Members of Provincial Parliament, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and all Ontario municipalities.

The committee will vote on the motion on Oct. 4.

For more information on motion, see the General Issues Committee agenda here.

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