Canada needs independent agency to regulate social media

regulate social media

Canada needs an independent agency to regulate social media with the power to order offending material to be taken down, says Beverly McLachlin, former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

“The legal tools we have at the moment don’t seem to be coping with the fast spread of misinformation,” McLachlin told the latest episode of the World Press Freedom Canada podcast, Big Digital Lies.

regulate social media
Regulate social media

Canada, she said, needs an independent social media regulator operating at arm’s length from government, and that watchdog should have the authority to order hate speech, disinformation and other harmful communication to be removed from social media sites.  “We need to have a takedown mechanism,” McLachlin said.

The former chief justice was a member of the Canadian Commission on Democratic Expression, established last year by the Public Policy Forum. That commission recommended in January that the government should pass legislation requiring social media platforms to “act responsibly” and establish an independent agency to enforce that duty.

Interviewed by Ottawa journalist Sarah Turnbull, McLachin said takedown powers should be used sparingly in cases of hate speech or harmful misinformation in order to avoid interference with freedom of speech.

While the Constitution sets out freedom of expression as a fundamental right, its Charter of Rights and Freedoms allows government to place limits on that right in so far as they can be “demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”

Finding the proper balance between freedom and responsibility is fundamental to the government’s task in reining in the social media giants, McLachlin said.

The former chief justice also noted the social media platforms are doing more to police hate speech and disinformation but cannot be left to self regulate.

In previous episodes of Big Digital Lies, Turnbull spoke to Craig Silverman on the prevalence of misinformation and disinformation; Almira Elghawaby — also a member of the PPF’s Commission on Democratic Expression — on the harmful impacts of fake news, and Canadian Press reporter Mia Rabson on reporting on COVID through a haze of misinformation. 

The entire Big Digital Lies series can be found here: https://worldpressfreedomcanada.ca/podcast-big-digital-lies/ You can also find Big Digital Lies on iPolitics.ca, Apple or wherever you get your podcasts.

Other articles from mtltimes.catotimes.caotttimes.ca

Pivot your life and business with life coach Sonia Zarbatany

Mtl Wine Gal bringing high-end private imported wine to your table

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Email
Is it possible to get an A for a 5-paragraph essay assignment in 1 hour? We can safely say yes, a student can get an A+ mark if he turns to EduJungles


staycation

The ultimate guide to planning a long family staycation in Canada

To guarantee that everyone has an amazing time, careful planning is necessary when organizing a lengthy staycation. Here’s the ultimate guide to planning your family staycation in Canada. Canada, with its vast landscapes, diverse cities, and rich cultural heritage, offers endless possibilities for a memorable family staycation. Whether you’re exploring the stunning natural beauty of

Meal kits

Cost vs. Convenience: Analyzing meal kits and traditional cooking

In this modern world and modern times, convenience often takes priority over cost, especially when it comes to food. Meal kits and traditional cooking represent two different approaches to home dining, and each of them has advantages and disadvantages. Analyzing these methods through the lens of cost and convenience provides insight into why individuals might

Condo renovations

Condo renovations Dos and Don’ts: Expert Tips for a Successful Project

Embarking on a condo renovations journey can be both exhilarating and daunting. Imagine transforming your living space into a stylish haven that reflects your personality and meets your needs. While exciting, the process can be full of challenges and unforeseen hiccups. That’s why we’ve gathered some condo renovation dos and don’ts from the experts to

Terrific Hair

Terrific Hair Means Tamanu – Earth to Body

Curly, straight, thick, thin, kinky or silky, tamanu loves and makes terrific Hair.  And scalps. Nutritionally dense yet gentle, tamanu is an effective and versatile nut oil. It stimulates, helps promote growth. prevents hair loss, reduces scalp itch and irritations and adds a natural sheen! Make tamanu a part of your hair and scalp care

Understanding the 4 legal process after a DUI Crash

A single mistake can have serious consequences, especially when driving under the influence. The aftermath of a DUI crash extends beyond physical harm and property damage. It involves a complex legal process that may feel overwhelming. As a responsible citizen, it’s vital to grasp the legal system and your rights in such situations. This blog

personal injury lawyer

Pedestrian accident: How a personal injury lawyer can help you

Accidents involving pedestrians can be life-altering. You could be walking down the street or crossing a street. A vehicle’s sudden impact can change everything right away. If you’ve found yourself in such a situation, you might be wondering how to move forward. This is where a personal injury lawyer steps in, offering crucial help and

Mtltimes Subscription

The latest on what’s moving Montreal and the world – delivered straight to your inbox