photo of hand holding a black smartphone
Photo by Magnus Mueller on

After passing Bills C-11 and C-18 this legislative session, Ottawa is expected to introduce its online-harms bill this fall. The lengthy consultation process for this upcoming bill has been marred by accusations of non-transparency and pushback by experts and advocacy groups.

The online-harms bill could require social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly known as Twitter), YouTube and TikTok to block or remove five categories of content: hate speech, terrorism propaganda, incitement to violence, child sexual exploitation and revenge porn. 

Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa who holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law, believes the online-harms bill will be the most controversial bill in the Liberals’ three-part digital regulation plan. 

“Given the fierce debate and opposition to [Bills C-11 and C-18], it may be hard to believe that online harms will be even more contentious,” Geist wrote in an April blog post. “Yet that is likely, both because the bill will have enormous implications for freedom of expression and because Canadian Heritage… faces a significant credibility gap on the file.” 

Register to read the full article.

Register for free for:

  • Access to ten free articles per month
  • Our weekly roundup of top stories
  • Monthly newsletters on topics of your choice

Subscribe for:

  • Unlimited article access each month
  • Crosswords and puzzles on Canadian holidays
  • Full newsletter access

Hadassah Alencar is a bilingual journalist based near Montreal. She recently completed the journalism program at Concordia University, where she worked as a teaching assistant and became editor-in-chief...