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News Ban Has No Impact On Canadians’ Facebook Usage: Report

Despite widespread calls to boycott its products, Meta Platforms’ (META) decision to block news links in Canada on its social media platforms has had no impact on Canadians' usage of Facebook.

The Reuters News Agency is reporting that data from various online tracking firms shows no real impact to Canadians use of Meta Platforms’ social media sites since the company began blocking content from news outlets in Canada.

The lack of impact comes despite sharp criticism of the news ban from Canadian politicians, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and calls to boycott Meta Platforms’ social media sites that also include Instagram and WhatsApp.

Daily active users of Facebook and time spent on the app in Canada have remained virtually unchanged since Meta Platforms began blocking news at the beginning of August, according to data from digital analytics firm Similarweb.

A second analytics firm,, also reports no meaningful change to Canadians’ usage of Facebook in August.

Meta Platforms, along with Google parent company Alphabet (GOOGL) began blocking Canadian news content in response to the Canadian government’s “Online News Act,” a new law that requires technology companies to pay publishers for the news articles shared on their social media platforms.

The Online News Act, passed in Parliament before the summer recess began in late June, requires Meta, Alphabet and others to negotiate commercial deals with Canadian news publishers for use of their content.

Both Meta and Alphabet have refused to do so and say the new law is unworkable for their business models.

Meta has said that links to news articles make up less than 3% of the content on its Facebook feeds and have no significant economic value.

At the same time, news consumption in Canada via social media is in steep decline, according to a recent report by the Pew Research Centre.

Facebook referrals to Canadian news sites are down about 35% this year and 74% since 2020.

Analysts say the lack of impact on Canadians’ Facebook usage shows apathy on the part of consumers towards domestic news content.

Meta Platforms’ stock has risen 140% this year to $297.99 U.S. per share, making it one of the best performing securities in the benchmark S&P 500 index.