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Censorship Industrial Complex

Trudeau government abandoning long-threatened ‘hate speech’ bill after backlash

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7 minute read

From LifeSiteNews

By Clare Marie Merkowsky

Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre has warned that Trudeau’s desire to censor online ‘hate speech’ is nothing more than a ‘woke authoritarian’ tool to silence views that Trudeau dislikes.

The Liberal government is shelving its long-threatened bill to regulate truth and “disinformation” on the internet.

According to information obtained on February 21 by Blacklock’s Reporter, the Liberal government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is abandoning legislation to regulate “hate speech” on the internet following feedback from Canadians that they consider the measure unconstitutional.

“The government heard from Canadians and stakeholders that while false and misleading information online can carry significant consequences, creating legislation and policies that restrict or otherwise limit speech based on the veracity of information would undermine freedom of expression to an unacceptable degree,” Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc wrote the Commons ethics committee.

The committee had previously recommended legislation to “hold online platforms accountable for publishing false or misleading information”; however, LeBlanc replied that internet literacy programs were sufficient to regulate Canadians internet use.

“Legislation is not the only tool in the government’s toolbox to combat false or misleading information,” he said.

Additionally, most of 9,218 petitioners to the Canadian Heritage Department condemned the proposed legislation as unconstitutional.

Likewise, according to Privy Council research in 2023, most Canadians opposed the measure, saying that “it was of critical importance for Canadians to be able to leave comments and have their voices heard regarding initiatives and policies important to them.”

“While most believed harmful content online represented a growing concern few felt it to be a major issue at present,” the report said. “Several were of the view that individuals were typically able to avoid harmful content by blocking it or not utilizing platforms on which it was present.”

The legislation was first proposed in 2021, when the Trudeau government suggested that a “Digital Safety Commissioner” should police “content moderation” on the internet. Those who violated the “content moderation” would face up to $25 million in fines.

“I think everybody in this country, and especially elected officials, have, I think, a responsibility, a duty to ensure that we protect our institutions and that the last thing we should try to do is to somehow diminish them just in the hope we can score points,” he added.

While Liberals support the measure, Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre recently declared that Trudeau’s desire to censor online “hate speech” is nothing more than a “woke authoritarian” tool to silence views that Trudeau dislikes.

“What does Justin Trudeau mean when he says the worst hate speech?” he questioned during a press conference earlier this week. “He means speech he hates.”

Poilievre warned that Liberals would label anything they disagree with as “hate speech,” referencing former adviser Gerald Butts said that it was “hate speech” to criticize Trudeau for using the term “peoplekind,” labelling those who made fun of Trudeau as “Nazis.”

Poilievre also reminded Canadians that Trudeau branded Canadians who protested COVID regulations in the Freedom Convoy as “a small fringe minority” with “unacceptable views.”

“I point out the irony that someone who spent the first half of his adult life as a practicing racist, who dressed up in hideous racist costumes so many times he says he can’t remember them all, should then be the arbiter on what constitutes hate,” said Poilievre.

“What he should actually do is look into his own heart and ask himself why he was such a hateful racist… And maybe in that way, rather than through coercion, he could help us all in the fight against real hate,” he added.

While the bill regulating “hate speech” seems to have been abandoned for now, since taking office, Trudeau managed to pass bills C-11 and C-18, both of which restrict free speech over the internet.

Bill C-11, or the Online Streaming Act, became law last year and now mandates that Canada’s broadcast regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), oversee regulating online content on platforms such as YouTube and Netflix to ensure that such platforms are promoting content in accordance with a variety of its guidelines.

Recently, Canadian law professor Dr. Michael Geist warned that new powers granted to Canada’s broadcast regulator via Bill C-11 will not stop at “Web Giants” but will lead to the government going after “news sites” and other “online” video sites as well.

Trudeau’s other internet censorship law, Bill C-18, the Online News Act, was passed by the Senate in June.

This law mandates that Big Tech companies pay to publish Canadians content on their platforms.

As a result, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, blocked all access to news content in Canada.

Critics of Trudeau’s recent lawssuch as tech mogul Elon Musk, have said it shows that “Trudeau is trying to crush free speech in Canada.”

Censorship Industrial Complex

Jim Jordan Exposes Biden’s Censorship-Industrial Complex

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From the Daily Caller News Foundation

By TOM HEBERT

 

“Internal talking points prepared by Amazon,” says the report, “included the question: ‘Is the [Biden] Admin asking us to remove books, or are they more concerned about search results/order (or both).’”

High-ranking Biden White House operatives coerced Big Tech companies into censoring posts critical of the Biden administration or those that spread so-called “misinformation” about COVID-19. A blockbuster new report from the House Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Jim Jordan, exposes how the Biden administration weaponized Big Tech against conservatives.

“The report,” the committee said when it released it, “details the months-long campaign by the Biden White House to coerce large companies, namely Facebook, Google, and Amazon, to censor books, videos, posts, and other content online. By the end of 2021, Facebook, YouTube, and Amazon changed their content moderation policies in ways that were directly responsive to criticism from the Biden Administration.”

This report is the result of a multi-year investigation by the Judiciary Committee’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. The evidence, including tens of thousands of emails and other non-public documents, shows a disturbing pattern of Biden officials pressuring Big Tech companies into censoring Americans online.

Shortly after Biden’s inauguration in 2021, then-White House Digital Director Rob Flaherty began haranguing top Facebook officials for more detail on their policies for taking down COVID-19 related posts. “In February 2021,” says the report, “Facebook increased its censorship of anti-vaccine content as well as the lab leak theory of the origin of the virus because of ‘tense conversations with the new [Biden] Administration’ and as part of an effort to be responsive to the Biden White House’s exhortations to ‘do more’ to combat alleged misinformation.”

As 2021 progressed, the White House demanded to know what Facebook was doing to censor “borderline content,” posts that did not violate Facebook’s content moderation policies but were nevertheless objectionable to Biden officials. “Facebook would meet again with the Biden White House on March 12, 2021, to discuss how it was approaching ‘borderline content,’ that is, content that did not violate its policies,” says the report.

“Facebook walked through its policies and enforcement practices for violative and borderline content,” it says. “But call notes reveal that throughout the meeting, Flaherty continued to ask about the removal and reduction of content above all else.”

Unsatisfied with Facebook’s unwillingness to “play ball,” Flaherty and the White House played hard ball. On July 16, 2021, a reporter asked Biden: “On Covid misinformation, what’s your message to platforms like Facebook?” Biden responded: “They’re killing people.”

In response to the intense pressure from the White House, Facebook went on to change their content moderation policies and censored posts about vaccine hesitancy and the lab-leak theory.

Facebook was not the only social media platform that Biden officials pressured. In April 2021, Flaherty reached out to YouTube with a litany of questions about YouTube’s efforts to censor borderline content. “Flaherty’s email was particularly focused on how YouTube handled non-violative ‘borderline’ content,” says the report. “These requests were prefaced by stating the Biden White House wanted ‘to be sure that you have a handle on vaccine hesitancy generally and are working toward making the problem better’ and that this ‘is a concern that is shared at the highest (and I mean highest) level of the [White House].’”

After Flaherty succeeded in making YouTube change its content moderation policies “to remove content that questioned the safety or efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines,” other Biden bureaucrats started to pester YouTube employees to clamp down on other content. In March 2022, according to the committee report, former Biden advisor Tim Wu asked for a meeting with Google employees to discuss “Russian misinformation/disinformation” and “airline competition.”

Another staffer communicated with YouTube about abortion-related content. “On July 14, 2022, YouTube Government Affairs staff contacted White House personnel to brief them on ‘updates related to addressing reproductive health misinformation on YouTube,’ to which White House staff responded, saying that they were ‘specifically interested in abortion,’” said the report.

Biden officials clearly sought to censor content they perceived as politically damaging to Biden.

The report also shows the White House’s obsession suppressing books that they disagreed with. In March 2021, the Biden White House emailed an Amazon executive “asking to have a discussion regarding the ‘high levels of propaganda and misinformation and disinformation at Amazon.’”

“Internal talking points prepared by Amazon,” says the report, “included the question: ‘Is the [Biden] Admin asking us to remove books, or are they more concerned about search results/order (or both).’”

There are two important takeaways from this report.

One, the Biden administration sought to impose a censorship regime through Big Tech to benefit the president politically.

Two, Congress should act to prevent future government-directed censorship of American speech. There are numerous bills that would address this problem. The House passed the “Protecting Speech from Government Interference Act” last year, legislation that would ban bureaucrats from advocating for censorship of viewpoints. The “Free Speech Protection Act” imposes penalties on bureaucrats who censor speech, and the “Censorship Accountability Act” would allow  Americans to sue bureaucrats who violate their First Amendment rights.

The Biden administration has displayed an appalling amount of contempt for American free speech. Exposing Biden’s censorship-industrial complex is an important first step toward ensuring that unelected bureaucrats do not have a veto over what we say online.

Tom Hebert is Director of Competition and Regulatory Policy at Americans for Tax Reform and executive director of the Open Competition Center.

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Censorship Industrial Complex

Quebec court greenlights class action suit against YouTube’s COVID-related content censorship

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From LifeSiteNews

By Didi Rankovic

The lawsuit, led by video blogger Éloïse Boies, argues YouTube violated freedom of expression under the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms by censoring COVID-related content.

A class action lawsuit against YouTube’s censorship of COVID-era speech on the platform has been allowed to proceed in Canada.

The primary plaintiff in the case which has now been greenlit by the Quebec Superior Court is YouTuber Éloïse Boies, while the filing accuses the Google video platform of censoring information about vaccines, the pandemic, and the virus itself.

A copy of the order can be found HERE.

READ: Elon Musk skewers Trudeau gov’t Online Harms bill as ‘insane’ for targeting speech retroactively

Boies, who runs the “Élo Wants to Know” channel, states in the lawsuit that three of her videos got removed by YouTube (one of the censored videos was about… censorship) for allegedly violating the website’s policies around medical disinformation and contradicting World Health Organization and local health authorities’ COVID narratives of the time.

However, the content creator claims that the decisions represented unlawful and intentional suppression of free expression. In February, Boies revealed that in addition to having videos deleted, the censorship also branded her an “antivaxxer” and a “conspiracy theorist,” causing her to lose contracts.

The filing cites the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms as the document YouTube violated, while the class-action status of the lawsuit stems from it including any individual or legal entity in Quebec whose videos dealing with COVID got censored, or who were prevented from watching such videos, starting in mid-March 2020 and onward.

Google, on the other hand, argues that it is under no obligation to respect the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, and can therefore not be held accountable for decisions to censor content it doesn’t approve of – or as the giant phrased it, provide space for videos “regardless of their content.”

But when Superior Court Judge Lukasz Granosik announced his decision, he noted that freedom of expression “does not only mean freedom of speech, but also freedom of publication and freedom of creation.”

Google was ordered to stop censoring content because it contradicts health authorities, WHO, or governments, pay $1,000 in compensation, and $1,000 in punitive damages to each of the lawsuit’s plaintiffs, as well as “additional compensation provided for by law since the filing of the request for authorization to take collective action, as per the court’s decision.”

As for those who were prevented from accessing content, the decision on damages will be the subject of a future hearing.

Reprinted with permission from Reclaim The Net.

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