Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers
Published Monday, September 21, 2020 7:18PM EDT
In this Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, photo an iPhone displays a Facebook page in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)
TORONTO -- Friends of Canadian Broadcasting is calling on Parliament to restrain social media platforms from distributing harmful or hateful content by applying the same laws that publishers and broadcasters already face.
The lobby group's executive director says courts should be penalizing social media platforms that knowingly spread harmful content.
Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper that argues social media platforms aren't passive or neutral when it comes to content distribution.
The report says platforms like Facebook and YouTube routinely exercise editorial control by promoting content that users have never asked to see or sometimes conceal content without consulting users.
The report says traditional publishers can be held partly liable under Canadian law for harmful content but the same standard hasn't been applied to internet platforms.
Facebook didn't immediately comment on the research paper or Bernhard's remarks.