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Parliament in 1970 banned hate speech under the Criminal Code. Bill C-36 would expand the law to prohibit hurtful remarks without evidence any crime was committed. “Social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter are increasingly central to participation in democratic, cultural and public life,” said the briefing note: “However, social media platforms can also be used to threaten, intimidate, bully and harass people or used to promote racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, misogynist and homophobic views that target communities, put people’s safety at risk and undermine Canada’s social cohesion or democracy.” “This content steals and damages lives,” wrote the staff. “It intimidates and obscures valuable voices, preventing a truly democratic debate.” The briefing note provided no examples, despite calls to action for greater “accountability” and “transparency” from online platforms. Staff added: “The mandate of the Department of Canadian Heritage includes the promotion of a greater understanding of human rights.” The Post Millennial Editor-in-Chief Libby Emmons reported on the Trudeau Liberals meeting with Facebook executives to censor content before the previous federal election.

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