Canadian Parliament grills Google top executives over news-blocking test

by The Canadian Parvasi

Team Parvasi – Inside

On March 16, Alphabet Inc.’s Google will stop blocking news articles from search results for some Canadian customers, according to a company executive who was summoned before the Canadian parliamentary panel examining the news-blocking tests conducted by the tech giant on Friday.

As a potential response to a Canadian government bill that would require online platforms to compensate Canadian publishers for news material, Google began testing limited news blocking last month.

The bill would enable remuneration to digital content publishers by covering 30% of their costs of creating news content, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer.

Tech firms like Alphabet Inc. and Meta would be required to negotiate deals with news publishers in order to use news content from said creators.

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Google has maintained that the test is like thousands of other product tests the company tech firm undertakes on a regular basis.

The tests started on February 9 and were supposed to last for five weeks, according to the corporation, with Google adding that they only affected less than 4% of Canadian users.

“I want to underline these are just tests. No decisions have been made about product changes,” stated Google’s public policy manager Jason Kee before the Canadian parliamentary committee, adding that the tests would end next week.

Previously, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had asserted that the news-blocking tests were a “terrible mistake” on the part of Alphabet Inc.

“It really surprises me that Google has decided that they’d rather prevent Canadians from accessing news than actually paying journalists for the work they do…I think that’s a terrible mistake and I know Canadians expect journalists to be well paid for the work they do,” PM Trudeau had stated previously.


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