After more than a month since Meta and Google blocked Canadian users’ access to Canadian news on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, a man recorded himself driving over the border into the U.S. to see if he could access the news sites from there.
YouTuber, TikToker and editor Joseph DeBenedictis posted a video of himself to TikTok driving across the Peace Bridge and into Buffalo, New York, to see if he would be able to access Canadian news immediately on the other side of the border.
Once he makes it into the U.S., DeBenedictis parks on a residential street and pulls up Instagram to attempt to access the outlets’ pages. “Oh my God! There it is! Look at that, it’s all back!” DeBenedictis is heard saying as Canadian news outlets begin fully loading on his screen.
“Oh, I’ve missed all the Canadian cultural stuff. Wow,” DeBenedictis says.
The video has since amassed more than 430,000 views on TikTok, with hundreds of users commenting about how crazy they thought it was that he could not access the news platforms’ Instagrams in Canada.
Meta and Google made the decision to no longer link to Canadian news outlets on its platforms after the Canadian government passed the Online News Act in June, which aimed to compel platforms like Facebook and Google to create deals with news outlets in order to share their work.
While the Associated Press reported that the goal had been to “level [the] playing field between online advertising giants and the shrinking news industry,” Meta and Google both felt that the law went too far.
Meta spokesperson Andy Stone wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, “As we’ve always said, the law is based on a fundamentally flawed premise. And, regrettably, the only way we can reasonably comply is to end news availability in Canada.”
Days later, Google announced in a statement that it would be doing the same, calling the legislation “unworkable” and that it was “disappointed that it had to come to this.”
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