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What Google’s Move to Block News in Canada Means for Your Next Search

June 30, 2023 7:58 AM | The Canadian Press

By Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press

Google News

The Google News homepage is displayed on an iPhone in Ottawa on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)

TORONTO — Google said Thursday that it will strip Canadian news from its services in response to a new federal law that forces tech giants to pay publishers for news they share through their services.

The move stands to alter how Canadians access, read and even stumble across news stories.

Here’s what it means for Canadians.

Where is Google removing Canadian news from?

Google is removing links to Canadian news publications from its search engine, news aggregator and discovery product.

Will Canadians be able to access any news through Google?

Canadian users will still be able to access news content about the country from international outlets such as BBC, New York Times and the Guardian, which Google is not blocking links to.

When will the changes take effect?

Google says it will stop linking to news from Canadian publishers as soon as the Online News Act comes into effect.

The law passed last week but isn’t expected to come into effect until the end of the year.


Why is Google doing this?

Google is removing links to Canadian publishers in response to Canada passing the Online News Act, which included provisions forcing tech giants to compensate media companies for stories they link to or repurpose.

The act requires digital giants to sign agreements with news publishers promising to pay media companies for content that appears on the tech company’s sites, if it helps them generate money.

Google disliked the legislation in part because it feared the act would force it to subsidize any outlet involved in news, including foreign state-owned outlets and sources of misinformation and propaganda.

How can Canadians access news instead?

Canadians will still be able to access news. Rather than expect it to come up in a Google search, however, they will have to visit the web pages of news organizations directly or use another search engine or aggregator that has not blocked articles from Canadian publishers.

What does this mean for Google’s news partnerships?

Google News Showcase, the company’s mechanism of licensing news from over 150 local publishers, will cease operating in Canada.

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