When politicians say ‘protect,’ they often mean ‘control.’
Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault and the Liberal government have announced they will be introducing regulations to ‘protect Canadians online.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, the legislation will be designed to ‘curb’ ‘hurtful or offensive’ social media posts:
“Cabinet will introduce 2021 regulations to curb Twitter and Facebook posts deemed hurtful or offensive, says Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s department. Hate speech is already forbidden under 1970 amendments to the Criminal Code: “We want to protect Canadians online.””
The point that hate speech is already illegal is important to note.
The government has existing legal and legislative authority to confront hate speech, whether it happens online or offline.
Yet, rather than using that authority, the government is seeking more authority and more legislation.
And this has many people understandably concerned, because when politicians say ‘protect,’ they often mean ‘control.’
We have seen that through the current virus crisis, where politicians have moved in an increasingly authoritarian direction while justifying it as being about ‘protecting’ people.
As a result, there are legitimate concerns that the federal government will seek to further limit what people can say, in a way that is about protecting political interests rather than confronting true hate.
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