• Aug. 1, 2023
  • Digital communications    
  • Column, Media
  • Written by: Mathieu Lavallée

Meta: thoughts on Bill C-18, digital regulation and media engagement

Thoughts on Bill C-18, digital regulation and media engagement.

Lawyer. Former journalist. Owner of a company that works closely with journalists.

I've refrained from commenting on all the turbulence surrounding C-18 until now. More often than not, my job is to help others make their voices heard.

Now that threats are actually being acted upon, I find it hard to see how I can continue to abstain.

The purpose of Bill C-18 is to regulate digital platforms that operate as intermediaries in the dissemination of news media in Canada. Its main aim is to reinforce equity in the digital news market. In concrete terms, this regulation would translate into compensation granted to the media by the intermediaries who dominate the market and benefit economically from this dissemination.

Meta reacted to this announcement by threatening to block all news on Facebook and Instagram if they were forced to negotiate royalty agreements with the media. And that process is underway...

I strongly encourage you to subscribe to our media, which do an outstanding job in maintaining our democracy. I urge you to access them directly. Once upon a time, we used to take our time. The morning news was a ritual. The evening news was a daily fixture. In a small way, I think it made us better, more informed citizens.

I also support those who have chosen to redistribute their advertising dollars.

Now I'm also going to urge us to be more judicious in the very use we all make of these platforms. They are terribly interwoven into our daily lives. We've become dependent on them. Perhaps too dependent.