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Censorship Industrial Complex

“Minority Report”: The Sequel. A warning to the Canadian Church


6 minute read

From the Frontier Centre for Pubic Policy

By Pierre Gilbert 

In the 2002 futuristic movie, “Minority Report,” viewers are introduced to a ground-breaking technology that allows law enforcement to preview a crime before it is committed. Then this determination becomes the basis for the arrest and the sentencing of the “pre-crime” perpetrator.

In a case of life imitating art, on February 26, the Canadian government tabled legislation containing provisions that are eerily like the plot imagined in Tom Cruise’s blockbuster.

The proposed legislation should be of great concern to churches and pastors who may face unprecedented legal exposure if it is passed.

Bill C-63, the Online Harms Act, seeks to “promote online safety.” The Act endeavours, in part, to protect children from online sexual exploitation and requires the mandatory reporting of online child pornography by internet providers. So far, so good.

But the proverbial devil is lurking in the details of the provisions pertaining to online hate speech, which are simply breathtaking.

The Act represents what many consider to be the most dangerous assault on free speech this country has ever seen, prompting Canadian novelist, Margaret Atwood, to refer to the proposed legislation as “Orwellian.”

This bill would not only have a glacial effect on free speech, but it would also trigger an open season on religious organizations that do not align with mainstream dogma.

Here are some of the reasons behind this apocalyptic assessment of this piece of legislation.

The bill defines hate speech as speech that “is likely to foment detestation or vilification of an individual or group of individuals on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.”

This definition is so vague, ambiguous, and far reaching that it could apply to any opinion that diverges from the government-sanctioned media narrative.

The responsibility of judging complaints would be lodged with the Human Rights Commission. This fact alone is deeply worrisome, as the threshold for deciding guilt is much lower in the Human Rights Tribunal than in a criminal court, where a person must be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Plaintiffs could file their complaints anonymously without incurring any legal costs. Defendants, on the other hand, would be bound to retain legal counsel at considerable expense to them.

Should they win their case, the plaintiffs stand to be awarded up to $20,000. The defendants could be imposed an additional fine of up to $50,000. Should a legal violation be considered to have been motivated by hate, the defendants could also face life imprisonment!

The incontrovertible proof that Bill C-63 is not about protecting children but strangling free speech resides in what is now ironically referred to as the “Minority Report” provision.

As unhinged as it sounds, the legislation states that if a member of the public has grounds to believe that someone is likely to engage in hateful speech, that person can appeal to a provincial judge who may then subject the defendant to house arrest and other restrictions.

Human nature being what it is, there is no telling the number of people who will be incentivized to file complaints knowing they have much to gain and nothing to lose.

Conservative churches would become instant targets in the tsunami of human rights violation initiatives that the proposed legislation would trigger.

In response, churches may decide to play it safe by restricting their services to in-person participation or by self-censuring.

While either choice would no doubt be welcome by a government that wants to silence those who hold “unacceptable views,” to quote Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, such restrictions would no doubt prove to be detrimental to the churches and the common good.

The proposed legislation is not about protecting children. It’s about unleashing the mob against those who would oppose an agenda that is already proving to be an existential threat to liberal society.

Bill C-63 is currently at the nexus of the fight to preserve our most fundamental freedoms, Canadian democracy, and the well-being of future generations.

Churches have a window of opportunity to voice their opposition to this appalling piece of legislation.

What can be done?

First, be informed. Videos posted by the Canadian Constitution Foundation are a great place to start.

Second, promote congregational awareness. Church leaders can no longer pretend that such issues are beyond the scope of their pulpit. To denounce injustice is indeed part and parcel of the church’s prophetic mandate.

Third, church members should contact their member of parliament to express their opposition to Bill C-63.

Canadian churches have historically chosen to remain on the far edges of the culture war currently raging in the Western world. But if Bill C-63 receives royal assent, these same churches may soon unwittingly find themselves in the middle of the very battlefield they so vigorously sought to avoid.

Pierre Gilbert is Associate Professor Emeritus at Canadian Mennonite University.

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Censorship Industrial Complex

Jim Jordan Exposes Biden’s Censorship-Industrial Complex

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From the Daily Caller News Foundation



“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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