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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Canada’s Justice Minister introduces bill to tackle harmful online content

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The Liberal government has introduced the Online Harms Act, a comprehensive legislation aimed at tackling harmful content and hate crimes on the internet. Justice Minister Arif Virani presented Bill C-63 after extensive consultations and revisions, emphasizing the need to ensure online safety, especially for children.

The act covers social media services, live streaming platforms, and adult content sites, imposing duties on them to act responsibly, remove harmful content, and protect children. It also establishes a Digital Safety Commission and Ombudsperson to enforce the rules and support users.

The legislation includes provisions to create a standalone hate crime offense in the Criminal Code, with increased penalties for hate propaganda offenses. While the government anticipates pushback from online platforms, it emphasizes the importance of prioritizing safety over profit. The act aims to address issues such as child sexual exploitation, bullying, incitement of violence, and dissemination of hate speech, marking a significant step towards enhancing online safety in Canada.

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