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Heritage Minister Admits Bill C-10 Would Regulate Social Media, Amendment Coming

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Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault admitted on Monday afternoon the federal government’s Bill C-10 would regulate social media posts, but added an amendment is coming.

Guilbeault detailed how Section 2.1 would not regulate uploaded content on social media platforms such as Facebook or TikTok, as they would not be considered broadcasters.

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But Section 4.1 excluded social media platforms such as YouTube from the category of broadcasters. Guilbeault explained, “based on the testimonies heard during the committee process, we realized that exclusion was too broad as it excluded platforms like YouTube when they act as music streamers. That’s why we removed 4.1”.

“We will be bringing forward another amendment that will make this crystal clear”, added Guilbeault, noting the federal government wants to “make sure” content uploaded by Canadians would not be considered programming under the Broadcasting Act.

The minister’s flip-flopping explanations regarding Section 4.1 were criticized by experts such as University of Ottawa Law Professor Michael Geist, also the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law.

“After days of misleading the public with claims that there was no regulation of user generated content, now @S_Guilbeault acknowledges what was obvious, namely that government Bill C-10 changes resulted in regulating the content of millions of Canadians,” reacted Geist.

Leading up to Guilbeault’s clarification yesterday, the minister tried to answer a question asked about Bill C-10 by Conservative MP Rachel Harder…with an answer focusing on women’s rights?

It’s unclear when Guilbeault will share details of the amendment to Bill C-10, but many consumer advocacy groups such as OpenMedia are asking Canadians to write to their MPs about the issue.

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