Column: How did we reach that point with Bill C-10?

It appears that Canadians’ concerns have been heard over Bill C-10 – the federal Liberal government’s new legislation that would have clamped down on new media platforms, including social media.

The government says an amendment will make it clear that content individual users upload to social media sites like YouTube and Facebook won’t be regulated by Bill C-10.

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His comments come after days of speculation and pushback by politicians and average citizens who were worried that Bill C-10 would infringe on freedom of speech. 

Bill C-10 started innocuously enough – an effort to modernize our laws, and create legislation that reflects our consumption of music, movies and broadcast content has changed.

In particular, it wants to see large online streaming services contribute to the creation, production and promotion of Canadian content.
I’m all for having more Canadian content on Netflix. I don’t watch nearly enough Canadian programming online. Quality Canadian programming in recent years is not just limited to Schitt’s Creek.

There are some really talented people out there in our country doing some great things, not just in film and television, but in Canadian music as well.

We can always do more to promote the talent that exists within our own borders.

Unfortunately, Bill C-10 went far beyond having more Canadian content on streaming services.

A provision in the bill could have allowed the federal government to order the deletion of any Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or Twitter upload made by a Canadian.   

You know you have created a potential monster when the former head of the Canadian Radio-Telecommunications Commission says it is an assault upon free expression.   

Thankfully, it appears the feds are backing away on this, although to what extent has yet to be determined.

We had no real need for the social media provisions in Bill C-10. There are rules in place to regulate the online world.

If you want to go online and spread rhetoric that is discriminatory or even hate-filled to people based on their gender, religion, race, nationality, sexual orientation or a disability, then there are laws in place to hold you accountable. And you should be held accountable.

Regardless of who said it, diversity is strength.  

Thankfully, the people who spew such venom are the minority in this country, although that minority seems to be growing.

If you decide you want to commit slander or libel against someone online on a Facebook post, then you’re at risk of getting sued, and frankly, you deserve to face a lawsuit.

There are a lot of people who have lost their jobs, or have lost opportunities or suffered harm to their reputations, because of what they have said online.   

So why in the hell did we need the social media amendments to Bill C-10 anyways?

Had the social media provisions remained in Bill C-10, they would have created a train wreck.

With all of the garbage that is posted to online platforms, and with all of the people who take offence the moment something is posted that they disagree with, we all know that whoever is tasked with policing the online world would have a very busy department.

You’d have people complaining about why their social media account was axed and someone else’s wasn’t.  

And who’s going to be responsible for the bills for this new regulation? The taxpayers, of course.   

Facebook has a hard enough time looking after itself. That’s why so much vile content slips onto its pages and remains there for a prolonged period of time. Can you imagine how difficult it would be for the feds to seemingly babysit all of the social media pages in this country.

And, eventually, the social media clauses in Bill C-10 would have been overturned eventually, making all of the discussion a giant waste of time. 

So now we get to breathe a giant sigh of relief that Bill C-10 was squashed, that we can continue to have some measure of freedom when online, and we don’t have to worry about our social media accounts being deleted for sharing something that offended someone.

We get to wonder how the federal government ever gave themselves this slippery situation, and why they had such a massive lapse in common sense.

And hopefully we will get some measures that encourage us to enjoy more Canadian content, because there is some really good talent out there. 

© Copyright Estevan Mercury

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