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Canada: Former Justice wants the government to have a “takedown mechanism” to use on websites

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A former Chief Justice in Canada called on the government to take action against websites with “harmful language.” She previously helped author a report asking the parliament to protect people against online abuse and faces accusations of calling for censorship.

In a recent podcast, Beverley McLachlin, who served as Canada’s 17th Chief Justice, from 2000 to 2017, said that the government should have a “takedown mechanism.”

“We also need other mechanisms,” she added. “We need a place where people can raise complaints.”

However, McLachlin did not go into specifics as to what she considers “harmful language.” She also did not give examples of what websites use harmful language. But she did assert that such websites are “hurting our democracy.”

After retiring, McLachlin helped author a government-funded report that urged the parliament to “protect against social harms” online, according to The Post Millennial. She suggested a website where people can report online bullying and get legal help.

“We are proposing an e-court where you go online, you say, ‘this is happening to me, I am being bullied or harassed or whatever it is, and how do I deal with it?’” McLachlin said at the time.

After reporting, victims would get help from “experts who know how to deal with those things,” she continued.

“We all understand that speech is a wonderful thing and it should be allowed to be free as long as it’s not hurting other people,” she added.

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