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Canada announces new digital charter to fight “hate speech” and “disinformation”

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Just one day after President Trump showed that his administration is fighting for free speech online, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced plans to restrict what he deems to be online “hate speech” and “disinformation through a new digital charter.

Trudeau introduced the charter during a speech at the VivaTech International Technology Conference in Paris. He didn’t provide any specific details of what will be included in the charter but focused on “hate speech” and “misinformation” during his speech.

He suggested that lack of proper oversight allows “the hateful to champion their views and incite violence from behind a computer screen” but failed to provide any specific examples of “hateful words” leading to violence.

He also claimed that “disinformation” is a “real problem” because a recent social media post from the Canadian Minister of Health about the importance of getting kids vaccinated was “overrun” with opposing viewpoints.

Trudeau added that social media platforms that fail to counter “disinformation” will be held accountable and face “meaningful financial consequences” but did not provide any further details on how these penalties will work.

He finished the speech by saying that Canada’s Minister of Innovation Navdeep Bains will share more details on this digital charter at the Open Government Summit in Ottawa which takes place between May 29 till May 31.

This new digital charter follows Canada announcing in March that it would consider forcing social media companies to remove “hateful” content. In April, the country also revealed that it was developing a creepy “Minority Report” style algorithm which monitors social media data in an attempt to prevent crimes before they happen.

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