Prince Edward County’s Newspaper of Record
July 18, 2024
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News
June 17, 2024

BLOCKED

Facebook and Instagram shut down the Picton Gazette account
<p>Local news publishers take on social media billionaire!</p>
Local news publishers take on social media billionaire!

The algorithm caught up with us in the dark hours of the weekend.

As a part of its dispute with Bill C-18, the Online News Act, Meta has blocked the posting of Canadian news on Facebook and Instagram. The multi-billion dollar global internet giant says paying for news content does not make financial sense.

Until now, the Picton Gazette had managed to say under their radar.

The Online News Act requires major social media platforms to share advertising revenues derived from posting original content provided by news outlets. A majority of Canadians, 80%, have Facebook accounts, and about half of them used to read the news that way.

Meta cancelled all news from and for Canadians rather than share revenue with the content providers.

Caught up in the same dispute, Google settled by agreeing to fund Canadian news organizations with $100 million per year. The sum is indexed to inflation.

Meta’s censorship of the news is a global scourge. In the European Union and in the U.S., Meta is also facing stricter regulations. In response, it has removed its “News” tab and no longer entering into any agreements with news publishers.

In Australia earlier this year, Meta threatened to block news as it has in Canada. It is now simply refusing to pay publishers for it, while the Australian government considers enforcing a 2021 law mandating such payments.

It will of course be eyeing the situation in Canada, which is dire. Meta’s censorship is rapidly destroying already vulnerable news organizations — the smaller, local publications which rely on social media to bring readers to their web sites.

In the meantime, the Gazette needs you. It urges all readers to subscribe to its weekly newsletter, The Picton Gazette Express. This email publication provides direct links to highlights of the week’s news, features and editorials, as well as photos and stories that did not make it to the print edition. Real estate agents contribute the weekend’s Open Houses, and there is a weekend Events listing.

We will continue to share our news as best we can. The battle to maintain researched, fact-checked, trusted, traditional journalism is a battle worth fighting. On Facebook, the news and information in Canada is being replaced with memes. Please join us in the fight against the destruction of literacy and democracy.

Please share this news widely.

Canadians can use the following website to create shareable links to news sources: https://johnmiedema.github.io/sharenewscanada/

UPDATE:

As a way of staying in touch with social media followers, the Picton Gazette has begun a YouTube channel.

Each video presentation offers a round-up of the week’s articles and provides direct links to our website in the video description.

Please visit and subscribe to our channel. We hope you enjoy!

Our first video can be found here: https://youtu.be/d68X58jqAFk?si=JNlBNig9EQ54yWlC

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Canada’s oldest weekly newspaper
© 2024 The Picton Gazette
Since 1830
Funded by the Government of Canada
Ontario Community Newspapers Association