Canada introduces legislation requiring technology companies to remove ‘harmful’ content online | Social Media News

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Calls Out Web Giants for Failing to Keep Kids Safe Online

Canada has put forth draft legislation aimed at holding tech platforms accountable for swiftly removing harmful online content, including material that sexualizes children and promotes hate. The Online Harms Act, introduced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, would require tech companies to address seven categories of harmful content and increase penalties for spreading online hate.

The bill includes provisions for Canadians to request the removal of harmful content within 24 hours, with a review process in place, and to file complaints against individuals spreading hateful speech at a human rights tribunal. The specified categories of harm in the legislation range from intimate content shared without consent to content encouraging violent extremism and self-harm in children.

The proposed law also mandates the establishment of a digital safety commission to ensure compliance with the standards, such as the implementation of parental controls and safe search settings to protect children. Prime Minister Trudeau emphasized the need for tech companies to take responsibility for the harmful content on their platforms in order to create safer online environments.

The government stressed that while it upholds Canadians’ freedom of expression, there is a necessity for better protections for social media users, particularly children. The bill will undergo review by a parliamentary committee and potentially be revised by the Senate before becoming law.

The government’s initiative has faced opposition from conservatives, with Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre criticizing Trudeau’s approach as infringing on freedom of expression. Despite this, Canada’s proposed legislation aligns with similar efforts in the UK, EU, and certain US states to regulate online content and promote online safety.

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