Google Is Testing A New Feature That Blocks Some Canadian Users’ Access To News

Google’s parent firm has spoken about how keen it is to roll out a series of tests that ends up blocking access to news.

But this would be solely restricted to the likes of just Canadian users, the search engine giant mentioned on Wednesday. Moreover, it claims that this is a test that’s run on the potential of generating responses to news bills of the government seen online.

The new online News Act was first launched in the month of April last year. It was seen laying out a fixed set of rules that forces platforms such as Facebook and even Google to carry out negotiations linked to commercial deals. This would send out payments to news publishers in regard to their content.

Moreover, we’re seeing more tests being conducted on a brief basis that set out responses to the bill and it might be affecting a small minority of users in Canada, the company explained. At the moment, more and more tests are run in the thousands every year. It is designed to assess potential changes in Google Search, the company’s spokesperson adds.

The company says that it ended up confirming the presence of time-restricted tests that would affect a bunch of random samples of nearly 4% of users across Canada. And that means limiting the visibility of both Canadian as well as international news providers to a certain degree.

The spokesperson for Canadian Heritage explained how the news is disappointing to see Google behave in this manner. But they hope such effects would not intimidate others while bashing the Android maker for borrowing ideas from the likes of Meta’s playbook.

So many Canadians require access to great quality and fact-based news at both the local as well as international levels. This is why the Online News Act was introduced, he further mentioned.

In the past year, we saw tech giant Facebook receive a warning in this regard about how it would be blocking news-sharing content on the app in Canada as reasons linked to legislation were highlighted. This would force digital apps to send out paychecks so publishers handle the news.

Meanwhile, another similar law from Australia has also arisen at this time. This came about in March of 2021 after there were several talks linked to huge tech firms. What happened was a temporary shutdown of Facebook’s news feeds in the nation, which has worked mostly, as per government reports.

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