Guilbeault seems to think he's striking back against "tech giants" with the Link Tax. But he's wrong; his misfire will decimate Canada's own news industry, and Facebook and Google won't feel a thing.
If the Link Tax makes Facebook or Google remove snippets — the preview text that makes readers want to click — or stop linking to news altogether, it will be Canada’s news organizations and small creators who suffer. In fact, that’s exactly what happened in Germany after implementing the Link Tax: Google stopped showing snippets alongside article links, which cut deeply into traffic to domestic news outlets.4 After Australia's Link Tax was introduced earlier this year, Facebook announced plans to stop linking to news on its platform entirely.5
A lot of people agree that tech giants have become too powerful — but legislation aimed at them needs to recognize the real-world consequences. The plan for the Link Tax ignores the reality that social media and search engines are where people access news content in the 21st century, and already drive a large share of revenue to those outlets. If Guilbeault is allowed to go forward with the Link Tax, Canadian news will be cut off from its audience both at home and abroad, while Facebook and Google carry on more dominant than ever.6
We need to stand up for Internet users and Canadian news organizations both large and small by stopping this plan. Tell Minister Guilbeault he needs to abandon the Link Tax NOW!