Trudeau Calls Out Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook Amid Canada's Burning Crisis

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has taken a stand against Mark Zuckerberg-led Meta Platforms, Inc META, criticizing its decision to block news articles on Facebook at a time when Canada is grappling with devastating wildfires

Due to a newly instituted law, the company's recent action restricts Canadian users from accessing local news.

On Friday, the Canadian government demanded that Meta lift its ban on domestic news on its platforms in response to wildfires in the country's west.

In a recent interaction with the media on Prince Edward Island, Trudeau expressed his disbelief and frustration at the company's prioritization of profit over disseminating timely news to the Canadian public. 

"It's hard to fathom how a platform like Facebook can prioritize financial gains over ensuring local news entities disseminate current updates to Canadians," the New York Post reports.

This surprising blockade of news stems from Meta's earlier announcement this summer. 

They revealed that Canadian users wouldn't access news stories from local outlets on its platforms, a decision made in response to a new Canadian law. 

This legislation mandates that tech giants like Meta negotiate content payment with publishers. "Democracy thrives on citizens having trust in high-quality journalism that offers diverse perspectives. 

Right now, with the emergency at hand, timely local news is paramount," Trudeau emphasized on Monday.

Canada faces intense wildfires, particularly in British Columbia, prompting Trudeau to deploy the military. The alarming spread of these fires has instigated evacuation orders for over 35,000 individuals.

It's not just Meta voicing concerns about the Online News Act approved by the Canadian parliament this year. Alphabet Inc GOOGGOOGLGoogle's parent company, has also expressed reservations about this law. 

Meanwhile, the raging fires in British Columbia led to a mass evacuation of residents over the past weekend. Smoke from these events has traveled vast distances, even casting a surreal pall over New York City earlier this year. 

To provide perspective, over 5,700 fires have ravaged more than 53,000 square miles across Canada, as the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center noted. Currently, the nation is still dealing with over 1,000 active fires.

Price Actions: META shares traded higher by 1.17% at $293.930 premarket on the last check Tuesday. 

Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

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