Every policy, whether it’s good or bad overall, has pros and cons. There will be negative consequences to anything no matter how good it may be. And yet politicians, activists, and most ideologues are incapable of grasping that. When the consequences arrive, they start yelling loudly that consequences should not exist.
Take this stupid story.
The Trudeau government decided to pass a law forcing Facebook to subsidize its media companies. (Some U.S. politicians, and not just Democrats, want to pass similar laws in this country.) Facebook warned that if a law forcing it to pay media companies to carry news is passed, it’ll block all news from Canada. The law was passed and Facebook followed through. Now Canada is upset that people can’t get news on Facebook.
The Canadian government on Friday demanded that Meta lift a “reckless” ban on domestic news from its platforms to allow people to share information about wildfires in the west of the country.
Meta started blocking news on its Facebook and Instagram platforms for all users in Canada this month in response to a new law requiring internet giants to pay for news articles.
Some people fleeing wildfires in the remote northern town of Yellowknife have complained to domestic media that the ban prevented them from sharing important data about the fires.
“Meta’s reckless choice to block news … is hurting access to vital information on Facebook and Instagram,” Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge said in a social media post.
“We are calling on them to reinstate news sharing today for the safety of Canadians facing this emergency. We need more news right now, not less,” she said.
Transport Minister Pablo Rodriguez earlier said the ban meant people did not have access to crucial information.
Who is John Galt again?
I’m no fan of Zuckerberg or Facebook, but laws like these are an attempt to force companies to subsidize government and party propaganda organs on the oddball theory that if news is shared on a site, that site should then pay the companies whose news is shared (rather than the other way around.)
People don’t need Facebook to share news. And they could still share news is the Trudeau government hadn’t tried to force Facebook to subsidize its media allies. It was warned that this would happen. What did it think was going to take place in an emergency situation?
But politicians ignore the consequences, no matter how often they’ve been warned about them, until something happens. And then they act like it’s unfair that the consequences have arrived.
Chris Bittle, a legislator for the ruling Liberal Party, complained on Thursday that “Meta’s actions to block news are reckless and irresponsible.”
What was reckless and irresponsible was legislators passing laws without considering the consequences.