Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault says governments around the world have tried giving Big Tech firms like Facebook the chance to regulate themselves for things like extremism and hate speech.
But the firms have proven they either cannot or will not do so, he said in an interview with The West Block‘s Mercedes Stephenson.
“These platforms can’t regulate themselves. We’ve tried that and it’s simply not working,” he said when asked what the government is doing to try to get social media and technology firms to take responsibility for the content shared and posted on their platforms.
He said he and cabinet colleagues are working on a plan and will be putting forward legislation “in the very near future.”
a way to mirror the protections in place in the physical world to those that should be available to people online.
In Canada, courts have consistently ruled that while freedom of expression is a constitutional right, reasonable limits can be imposed on that right: prohibiting threats, hate speech and incitement to violence, for example.
“We have free speech in our society, but people can’t say everything. You can’t verbally abuse someone,” Guilbeault said. “Well, we’re doing it in the real world. We can do it in the virtual world as well.”
Last week, Facebook Australia threatened to cut off individuals and journalism outlets from sharing news content on the platform in response to a plan by the government there to introduce a bill that would force it and other online giants to share royalties with the media organizations whose content they post.