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A Fight Between Zuckerberg and Trudeau Is Unfolding

via NBC
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Canadian media companies are facing a standoff between the government and tech giants Meta Platforms Inc. and Google, as a law requiring payment to publishers for linking to news stories has led to Facebook blocking news content in Canada and Google threatening to remove news from search results.

This has severely impacted small news outlets, particularly those in rural areas, which relied on social media for their distribution.

The situation raises concerns about the potential consequences of similar legislation in other countries and highlights the power struggle between major media organizations and tech giants. (Trending: Donald Trump Confronts Bud Light CEO)

“Facebook gave us something that was pretty amazing. It allowed us to be big-city media in a small town,” said Theresa Blackburn, publisher of the River Valley Sun.

“It allowed us to not have to worry about a website.”

“It saved us huge money in those first days.”

“It gave us an instant platform that we could easily network through. It helped us grow.”

“The business of publishing in general is not a high-margin business. So when you start taking away 10% to 15% of your top line revenue, it’s a pretty significant impact on the business,” said Jeff Elgie, chief executive officer of Ontario-based Village Media Inc.

“Reduced traffic and revenue mean Village Media will no longer reinvest its operating profit into launching new markets,” Elgie said.

The government is standing its ground, aiming to correct the power imbalance and support journalism, but the impact on small and local news organizations is significant.

The Canadian authorities “threw a big punch,” said Patrick Watt, CHCO’s station manager.

“So of course, Meta punches back. They did that without considering what was going to happen down here at this level.”

“What we’re doing here is correcting a power imbalance between tech giants and our media sector,” Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge said.

“I’m confident that it’s going to help not only our national news outlets, but also local and community news organizations.”

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