Some news outlets report difficulty posting

Some news outlets report difficulty posting on Meta apps amid restriction rollout!

By Joanne Cassar / 13. Aug 2023

News outlets have been unable to post on Meta’s social media sites some or all of the time since the digital giant began rolling out its restrictions on Canadian news in response to federal legislation.

CBC has noticed inconsistencies when posting on Facebook and Instagram, including instances where content submitted does not get posted, said CBC spokesperson Kerry Kelly in an email.

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At Bell, which owns CTV, some account users are still able to post to the brand’s accounts, while others cannot, a spokesperson said.

But not all outlets are experiencing this problem. The Toronto Star is still able to post on its Meta accounts, said spokesperson Bob Hepburn in an email.

Staff at the Winnipeg Free Press are also able to post on the outlet’s Facebook and Instagram pages, editor Paul Samyn confirmed, though only people from outside Canada can view the posts.

Meta did not respond to requests for comment about companies unable to post. It has previously directed questions about the ban to a statement on its website explaining the restrictions, which says pages and accounts run by Canadian news organizations can post content but viewers in Canada won’t be able to see those posts.

Those news organizations won’t be able to see their own posts, either, unless they log on to Meta Business Suite to view or edit their posted content. However, they will still have access to advertising tools.

Viewers in Canada won’t be able to see or share news content.

In mid-July, The Tyee’s founding editor David Beers wrote a story saying the outlet was blocked from posting news stories on Instagram and Threads.

Social media manager Sarah Krichel said while the outlet can post via the Meta Business Suite, the tool doesn’t allow certain key functions the news outlet normally used when working directly on Instagram and Facebook.

“The Tyee has decided not to devote our time to adapting to workarounds when Meta is making it increasingly difficult for us to use their software comfortably,” she said in an email.

“We also think it’s important to highlight that for posting to have value, it needs to be accessible to an audience, and with the strengthening of Meta’s news ban, it is a resource-heavy effort with decreasing gains.”

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Meta was previously testing news limitations for some users and at the beginning of August said it will remove news for all Canadian users within a few weeks.

The company’s move is its response to the Liberal government’s Online News Act, which requires tech giants like Meta to pay Canadian news outlets for sharing or otherwise using their content. Meta has said the law is built on a flawed premise.

Both Google and Meta previously said they will remove news links in Canada before the law comes into effect at the end of the year.

News publishers and broadcasters have called on the Competition Bureau to investigate and stop Meta from blocking news content on its platforms, calling the move an “abuse of its dominant position.”

The bureau is conducting a preliminary review, spokesman John Power said earlier this week.