MONTRÉAL, Sept. 08, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Many members of society across our country are joining their voices with the Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec (FPJQ) et de la Société québécoise des professionnel(le)s en relations publiques (SQPRP) to denounce Facebook and Instagram’s parent company decision to block news’ stories in Canada.
This 15th of September, all members of the public are invited to avoid sharing anything on Facebook and Instagram, as well as subscribing to a local media or its newsletter. This small gesture would send a strong message that Canadians are not be intimidated by Meta’s decision, and that they will support journalists and news’ organizations based in our country.
The decision to remove news’ from Facebook and Instagram is a retaliation against the Online News Act, that will come in effect on December 19th,2023. The internet giant decided not only to block news’ stories from local outlets, but also prevents Canadians to access news from other countries. This bullying has no place in a democratic society in 2023.
Many important actors like Québecor, Hebdo Québec, l’Union Des Artistes, la FNC – CSN, la FTQ, mayors Stéphane Boyer (Laval), Bruno Marchand (Québec) and Catherine Fournier (Longueuil), l’Association canadienne des journalistes (CAJ), les Amis de la radiodiffusion as well as others support this #DayWithoutMeta on September 15th, 2023, which is the International Day of Democracy. It is a reminder than a healthy democracy requires a free and healthy press.
We would like to remind that Internet giants like Meta and Alphabet (Google parent company) receive roughly 80% of online advertising revenues in Canada, while revenues for newsrooms are plummeting, jeopardizing journalism everywhere across the country due in large part to a loss of advertising income. According to professor Jean-Hugues Roy from the École des médias de l’UQAM, news’ stories on Facebook allowed Meta to generate 193 millions $ in 2021.
The Online News Act aims to ensure that those giants compensate news’ outlets for the content made available on their platforms.
It is also worth noting that according to the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Online News Act would cost 62 million per year to Meta, if they accept to abide by the new law. In 2022, the company made 116,6 billions USD in revenue, with 23,2 billions USD in profits.
“Meta clearly can do its part, yet they decided they want to set its own rules. This is unacceptable, this attitude is unworthy of a good corporate citizen. The public has to be made aware of the situation,” said Michaël Nguyen, president of the FPJQ.
“Information is what links society together. Whoever we are, journalists or public relations specialists, we have a central role on this ‘public space’ where society can discuss and debate on all topics that is of interest to citizens, while allowing them to stay connected. By blocking news’ sharing, Meta prevents citizens to have access to verifies news, which is concerning to us.”, said Patrick Howe, president of the SQPRP.
All information regarding the #DayWithoutMeta is available on the FPJQ (fpjq.org) and the SQPRP (sqprp.ca) websites.
The Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec is a non-profit organization representing 1600 journalists across 250 news’ organizations. It is the largest journalism association in Canada.
The Société québécoise des professionnel(le)s en relations publiques (SQPRP) represents over 600 public relation professionals and aims to have the professional nature of their practice recognized since 1984.
Source : FPJQ