You’ve probably noticed by now that news links are no longer showing up on Facebook and Instagram. If you haven’t or aren’t on these platforms, you may have noticed television ads for news sites urging you to download their app, complete with QR code on the screen to direct you where you need to go.
By now, you’ve probably already had someone tell you this news blocking is because of Bill C-18, a federal law. This is bad policy and bad for Canadians — we live in the information age and a lack of access to information hurts everyone from local groups trying to get the word out about an event, all the way up to what’s happening in policy at a national level.
To be clear, it’s not the government blocking news links, directly. Once in place, the federal law will require that sites, such as Facebook and Google, pay the content creator for any links shared on its sites. This creates potentially a huge, out-of-their-control cost. As businesses, Facebook (Meta) and Google, said, “Fine. Then we’ll just not allow news links.”
Why does this matter to you, our audience? For starters, RealAgriculture has so far been unaffected by the blocking, but we assume it’s just a matter of time. Barring a reversal of the bill or Meta changing its mind, the blocking will expand to cover even the most niche of news sites, including this one (even though, we could argue that news is only a slice of what we do, not our main purpose, but I digress).
There has always been, and will continue to be, a stand-alone website where you can access every. single. thing. we do. From video, to commentary, to podcasts, and yes, even news. Bookmarking the site on your browser would be a great first step in making sure you can find RealAgriculture.com quickly and easily. Visit often: we update it five or six times a day with the latest goodies.
We also have an extensive, customizable list of e-blasts that you can have sent directly to you. Hit up realagriculture.com/subscribe and let us know what you want to see and we’ll deliver it. You won’t hurt our feelings if you only open it now and again; this is all about staying connected regardless of outside interference.
Then, there are the other platforms. Have Spotify? Search for RealAg Radio or RealAgriculture and you can get all our podcasts in one place. On YouTube? Subscribe to our channel and never miss a video. Like podcasts? Any of the podcast catcher apps will bring all the audio we produce directly to your earbuds to listen when it suits you.
Of course, we are also on Sirius XM with RealAg Radio and RealAg on the Weekend on 980 CJME and 650 CKOM. And if the telephone is still your jam, you can listen to Wheat Pete’s Word every week by dialling in to 1-888-746-3311.
In all, there are so many ways to directly connect with RealAgriculture — but for many, you’ve only really seen our stuff through another platform. We hope that you’ll keep in touch directly, with an email sign up and a site bookmark, so that, as we navigate this new way of communication, you don’t ever miss out on the issues, events, and changes that impact your farm and ag business.