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Well…they’ve actually gone and done it. Yesterday, Meta announced that it “has begun the process of ending news availability in Canada,” and that the changes “will be implemented for all people accessing Facebook and Instagram in Canada over the course of the next few weeks. We are identifying news outlets based on legislative definitions and guidance from the Online News Act.”
Here, Laura Hazard Owen looks at what those eligible news businesses actually are according to the legislation, and some of the problems. “The end result could be Meta removing access to almost all legitimate news organizations, but leaving up links to news stories from disreputable outlets, or blogs and other one-person operations,” she notes.
It’s likely Google will follow suit, leaving the ball firmly back in Canada’s court. Their decisions now will likely have a huge impact on news publishers, minimal impact on the tech giants, and will shape how other countries proceed with their own versions of the legislation. Let the games begin.
From Hollywood gossip to space updates, a new breed of start-ups are proving there truly are riches in niches (Brits can cringe with me at the necessary mispronunciation to make that work but ANYWAY). Axios rounds up the details of Payload, Charter and The Ankler’s $1 million milestones, and notes each of them are leaning into newsletters, sponsored events and professional services to super-serve their readers.
We’ve surfaced plenty of articles about publishers attempting to extract money from AI platforms – my eyebrows shot up last week at one consortium hoping to get billions in payouts. But the early deals coming out are far too low, according to Ernie Smith. “The news industry needs to hold out for paydays that at least match what Dylan and Springsteen got. The industry finally has suitors with money and a desire to extract value, and the news industry needs to get something for letting them into the mine.”
I’ll admit this one made me chuckle when I first read it but there’s quite a worrying lesson in it. Journalists received a press release, quotes, a YouTube video; the full works from (seemingly) a Mattel PR email address. But it was part of an elaborate hoax from environmental activists. I feel quite sorry for the staff who probably used all reasonable checks here but still got taken in (unlike the Woolworths story a few years back which ran off a single dodgy Twitter account).
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