In a rare gesture, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM) joins its voice to the actors who have already condemned Meta’s decision to block access to Canadian media and calls for a boycott of the digital giant.
The organization has also decided to end its purchases of advertising on Facebook and Instagram and asks its members to mobilize to protect the media.
“It is a position that is justified because Meta shows a lack of respect for the democratic institutions of Canada and for its people,” explains Michel Leblanc, president of the CCMM.
The sums at stake for the House, around $110,000 last year, are not huge, agrees Michel Leblanc, but they add to the others. “It’s money that will be redistributed to other sources and that will feed competitors,” he said.
The Government of Canada, that of Quebec and the City of Montreal, among others, have already decided to no longer buy advertising from Meta. The parent company of Facebook and Instagram has decided to stop relaying content from Canadian media in retaliation against the Online News Act (Bill C-18) which seeks to force internet giants to pay for the content of media they use and monetize.
According to Michel Leblanc, the Montreal Chamber of Commerce had to respond to Meta’s showdown. “The absence of reliable and recognized journalistic sources on these platforms represents a major danger for the verification of the authenticity of information and therefore for the vitality of our democracy”, underlines the organization in an open letter published Thursday. “Today we send an unequivocal message to all companies and invite them to join the boycott of Meta. No one is above our laws. »
This position reflects “a strong consensus” of the members of the chamber, assures Michel Leblanc.