One Canadian Senator is calling on residents to join him in switching their search engines to Bing in response to the fallout over the federal government’s Online News Act that will see Google and Meta block news links to publishers.
Google and Meta independently announced they will not serve Canadian news websites in news feeds. The move led Canadian Senator Pierre Dalphond to announce he’s switching from Google to Bing.
“Yesterday, I stopped using #Google as my search engine and switched to #MicrosoftBing," Dalphond wrote in a tweet, urging Canadians to do the same to show big tech that their business model rests on those who use it. “Let’s show Google that #blackmailing Canada does not work! #BillC18.”
Microsoft did not detail how the transition from free to fee will work, but
did provide a statement as to how the company will comply with the new bill.
"Microsoft supports a strong and independent news and media ecosystem as an essential ingredient for social cohesion, and a foundation of our democratic systems of government,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Search & Performance Marketing Daily. “Microsoft intends to comply with the legislation as it applies to our products."
Complying with Canada’s Bill C-18 will require Microsoft to pay content publishers in the country a fee to source the information each publishes. Eligible publishers include qualified Canadian journalism organizations under the Income Tax Act, Canadian organizations producing news content focused primarily on issues of general interest, provided they employ at least two journalists and follow the code of journalistic ethics, and licensed campus, community or local Canadian broadcasters, as well as local news outlets.
“Thought I would check and yes, @bing does provide search users with Canadian news and apparently no drama about it,” tweeted Bruce Anderson, co-founder of the agency Spark Advocacy in Canada.
The United States has been watching the connections of the U.S. government to private business, specifically technology platforms owned and run by Microsoft, Alphabet, Meta, and Twitter. It’s interesting to note that Marlene Floyd, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s former director of operations, now serves as Microsoft Canada’s head of corporate affairs, while Trudeau’s former PMO Communications Director, Kate Purchase, currently works in the office of Microsoft’s CEO, according to a local news agency in Canada.