Canadians can read news on Threads but not Facebook or Instagram

  • A bug that popped up this week prevented Canadian Threads users from sharing news.
  • This sparked fears that Threads would ban the sharing of news just like Meta does for Facebook and Instagram.
  • A Meta spokesperson says that Canada’s Online News Act doesn’t currently apply to Threads.

Earlier this year Canadian lawmakers passed the Online News Act whereby platform operators would have to pay news publications for running their content on those platforms. In response to this Meta, operator of Facebook, Instagram, and Threads, no longer allows news to be shared on Facebook or Instagram.

It was a rather monumental decision and while we imagined either Facebook or Canadian lawmakers would have broken by now, one still can’t share news on Facebook in The Great White North.

However, it appears as if Canadians can share news on Threads which is somewhat strange.

The platform operator this week fixed a bug that prevented Canadian Threads users from sharing news on the app. When trying to view certain content, Canadians were met with notices such as “People in Canada can’t view this content” or “Content from news publishers can’t be viewed in Canada in response to Canadian government legislation” leading many to believe that the news ban had found its way to Threads.

That doesn’t appear to be the case and these notices were merely a bug. A spokesperson for Meta told Engadget that the framework of Canada’s Online News Act doesn’t apply to Threads just yet. However, that could change in future.

It is rather strange to think that sharing news on one Meta app is fine while it’s outright banned on two others.

The ban on news sharing by Meta is entirely its own doing. The Online News Act seeks to bring some fairness back to the online news world.

The bill argued that the likes of Google and Meta enjoyed the users who flocked to their platforms looking for content and leveraged that for advertising. News publications and other advertising platforms meanwhile suffered as Google and Meta were able to charge lower fees and place brands in front of many more users.

Beyond that, we live in an age of headline readers and folks very rarely click through to a website from a social media platform to read the full story.

With Threads trying to compete with Twitter or X as it’s now known, blocking news would be an awful decision but ultimately, if Threads gets big enough, Meta may have to start paying publishers or just stop allowing news to be shared.


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