At a meeting of the House of Commons access to information, privacy, and ethics committee last week, several members of the parliament raised concerns over the role of social media companies ahead of this year’s federal election, saying that they are not taking Canadian laws seriously (via Global News).
Toronto Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith raked Google Canada representatives Jason Kee and Colin McKay over the coals for the search giant’s decision not to run any political ads during this fall’s federal election campaign.
“You have a company that makes billions of dollars. But we are too small for you. You are too big, you are too important and we are just not important enough for Google for you to take us seriously,” said Erskine-Smith.
Similarly, Quebec MP David Graham and Quebec Liberal Frank Baylis, both accused Google and Facebook of ignoring the Canadian copyright law:
“The minute you start controlling these ads, you move from being a platform to proof positive you’re a publisher and once you’re a publisher, you’re subject to copyright and all that,” Baylis said, maintaining that’s the “real reason” Google has opted out of the political ad registry, not “this technical mumbo-jumbo” offered by the company.
Meanwhile, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has warned that Canada may have to use legislation to force social media companies to remove extremist and hateful content from their platforms.