California and Canada must absolutely not give in to the tech giants’ tantrum. This is a bluff, and not a particularly convincing one. For the sake of the beleaguered news industries in both places (yes, including this media outlet), the Canadian and Californian governments must absolutely call it.
For assurance, we should look to Australia, where a like-minded bill went into law in 2021, even after Google and Facebook made the same exact threats. Facebook did initially restrict access to news, but the ploy lasted barely a week before it backfired wildly, and Facebook agreed to comply, albeit after extracting some concessions.
That bill has already restored tens of millions of dollars in revenue to Australia’s troubled newsrooms, and, while far from perfect, has transformed the media environment dramatically.
Last Updated on August 5, 2023