KEY UPDATE: The Government Has Finally Taken Action (Sort of)
On July 29th 2021, as Canada was gearing up for the federal elections, the government released a technical paper outlining a proposed approach to tackling online hate and other illegal content on social media platforms.
The framework sets out:
- which entities would be subject to the new rules;
- what types of harmful content would be regulated;
- new rules and obligations for regulated entities; and
- two new regulatory bodies and an Advisory Board to administer and oversee the new framework and enforce its rules and obligations.
Pros at a Glance
The legislative proposal creates a requirement for social media platforms to proactively remove hate, and face fines if they don’t.
A new regulator and appeals process will also be set out for reviewing whether content should be removed and for greater transparency into how social media algorithms work, and how much hate is spread.
Cons at a Glance
First of all, will this legislation even get passed, and how long will it take to be implemented. With the elections coming up, it’s unclear whether this technical paper will even make it to being a bill. Moreover, even if it were passed, it could be another 2 years before we see any real developments.
More concerning is that the system puts the onus on victims to find, report and possibly defend that content contains hate, potentially re-traumatizing victims.
Make your voices heard! Stand up for our community!
Stay tuned here for updates as to CCNC-SJ’s full position on the government’s technical paper.
In the meantime, the government is accepting submissions from you until September 25th, 2021 so it is CRUCIAL that you get informed, and make your voices heard.
Social Media platforms are playing an ACTIVE role in spreading online hate.
Ever notice that your newsfeed isn’t in chronological order?
That’s because social media platforms’ algorithms filter and organize your newsfeed so that you see what they think you’ll be most engaged with.
Sometimes that that engaging content is controversial, sensationalized and or hateful content because it drives up interactions.
Anti-Hate speech laws have been REMOVED and current laws are INEFFECTIVE in prosecuting and combatting online hate.
With the removal of section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act in 2013, Canada’s current laws fail to adequately address hate speech of any kind, let alone online hate. Instead, the law requires a complicated and often unsuccessful criminal prosecution to prosecute and remove any hate speech.
What Needs to Change
Our Legislative Proposal
- That there be a robust definition of hate speech that encapsulates cases of veiled racism and fake news, and that does not require proof of intent.
- That social media companies be compelled to remove hate speech expeditiously.
- That an AI (artificial intelligence) or otherwise automated identification and notification tool be developed and adopted to flag hate speech for removal.
- That a tribunal be set up to make determinations of whether content constitutes hate speech and is empowered to compel the removal or re-upload of content.
- That penalties be sufficiently high to discourage social media companies from allowing harmful material on their platforms, as opposed to a “cost of business”.
- That at least some portion of those penalties be provided to injured parties and communities.
A Third Party Tech Solution
CCNC-SJ is working with others, including the Schwartz Reizman Institute’s Professor Ishtiaque Ahmed to harness and develop Artificial Intelligence tools and algorithmic learning to track hate speech on social media.
Our tool will identify trends in hate speech, identify and fact check with the option of hiding online hate and fake news in social media posts.