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.
The report was released as members of Parliament return to Ottawa this week and the Trudeau government prepares to lay out its plans for the coming session.
Among other things, Bernhard said that social media tell regulators and advertisers that they have very detailed knowledge of what’s being posted on their platforms and exercise control over what is made available to the public.
“(Facebook CEO) Mark Zuckerberg has claimed under oath that Facebook takes down 99 per cent of terrorist content before a human user ever sees it (and) 89 per cent of hate speech supposedly comes down before a human ever sees it,” Bernhard said.
He said that means Facebook in particular, and social media in general, should have the same responsibility to abide by Canadian laws as conventional publishers and broadcasters.
“If a judge finds that the content is illegal and that a platform has amplified it, the platform should be held responsible. And not only that, but that the penalty should be commensurate to their revenue and size so it hurts accordingly,” Bernhard said.
David Paddon, The Canadian Press
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Media Beat: October 19, 2020 | FYIMusicNews – FYI Music News
From Ad Contrarian Bob Hoffman’s latest newsletter
We haven’t heard much from the “TV Is Dead” imbeciles recently, so I thought a little update would be appropriate. First some background.
The concept that the TV-Is-Deadheads never quite seemed to understand is that there’s a difference between consumer behaviour and industry shit fights. The fact that broadcast tv and cable tv and satellite tv and internet-delivered tv were fighting over share meant less than nothing to consumers. Consumers like to sit on their asses and watch television. That’s all there is to know about the subject.
But the Deadheads saw the eroding share of broadcast tv and knee-jerked that into “TV Is Dying.” Whether the signal gets to peoples’ tv sets by electromagnetic waves, underground wires, satellite pulses, web streaming, carrier pigeons or rowboats is of no interest to them. As long as it’s simple to use, entertaining, and cheap, they’ll watch (Although advertising has become so horrible lately people are willing to pay way more than imagined to avoid it).
Even in an environment in which streaming is gobbling up share, over the air broadcast is still dominating. According to Nielsen…
– The average adult spent 4 hours and 30 minutes a day watching traditional tv in Q2 2020.
– The average adult spent 1 hour and 6 minutes on streaming. The growth of streaming has been quite substantial and impressive, but it still constitutes only 25% of video viewing.
– Remarkably, streaming services (Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Disney+, HBO, Hulu, and Sling) bought over a quarter billion dollars of ad time on traditional tv in the past 12 months to promote their products. That’s gotta tell you something.
Regardless of who wins the internecine battle of delivery systems, one thing is clear. People love tv and reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated. – h/t Lara Bracken
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Illusion: The Fear is the story of Valécia Pepin’s harrowing struggle to free herself from the grip of her pimp, who attempts to reassert control. It had its debut at the Edmonton Short Film Festival on the weekend. – Andrea Huncar, CBC Edmonton
Thai police order media probes over protest coverage – Reuters Canada
BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thai police said on Monday they had ordered an investigation of four news outlets under emergency measures imposed last week to try to stop three months of protests against the government and monarchy.
The announcement prompted anger from media groups and accusations of an attack on press freedom by the government of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the former junta leader the protesters are seeking to drive from office.
According to a police document dated Oct. 16, investigations have been ordered into content from four media outlets as well as the Facebook page of a protest group.
“We received information from intelligence units concerned that parts of the content and distorted information have been used and disseminated to cause confusion and instigate causing unrest to society,” police spokesman Kissana Phathanacharoen told a news conference.
He said it was for Thailand’s broadcast regulator and digital ministry to investigate and take appropriate action, adding that there was no plan to curb press freedom.
Putchapong Nodthaisong, a spokesman for the digital ministry, said it had requested court orders to take down content by the four media outlets and a protest page, among more than 300,000 pieces of content it said violated Thai laws.
Prachatai, an independent outlet among those being investigated, described it as a censorship order.
“Honored to report accurate info about human rights and political development in Thailand, we’ll try our best in continuing to do so,” Prachathai English said on Twitter.
The Manushya Foundation, an independent group which campaigns for online freedom, called the measures an attempt to silence free media.
“Since the ban on protests did not work, the military-backed government hopes to create fear of telling the truth,” its director Emilie Palamy Pradichit said.
“We urge free media to resist.”
The government ordered a ban on news and online information that could affect national security last Thursday as it also banned political gatherings of more than five people in the face of the growing challenge.
Protests have taken place every day since then, the latest drawing tens of thousands of people in Bangkok and across the country. Police gave a figure of 20,000 protesters in the capital.
“We will prosecute everyone,” deputy Bangkok police chief Piya Tawichai said, adding that 74 protesters had been arrested since Oct. 13.
Protesters seek the removal of Prime Minister Prayuth, accusing him of engineering last year’s election to keep hold of power he first seized in a 2014 coup. He says the election was fair.
The protesters have also grown more vocal in demanding reforms to the monarchy to reduce the powers of King Maha Vajiralongkorn. The Royal Palace has made no comment on the protests or protesters’ demands.
Protesters have said they will demonstrate every day, but had yet to set out a plan for protests on Monday.
Prayuth has said he will not quit. Speaking at Government House on Monday, Prayuth said he supported a proposal for a special parliament session to discuss the situation. His supporters have a majority in parliament.
“We are just asking people not to do wrong and destroy the government and people’s property,” he said. “What the government needs to do is to protect the monarchy.”
Writing by Matthew Tostevin; Editing by Michael Perry
Thai police seek probe of media over protests: document – The Guardian
BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thai police are seeking an investigation of four media outlets and a protest group over their coverage of protests on suspicion of breaking emergency measures restricting information, according to a document published by local media on Monday.
“It appears that there was content that affected state security, peace and order, or the good morals of the people,” the Oct. 16 document quoted police as saying.
Police would request Thailand’s broadcast regulator and digital ministry to investigate the outlets “and suspend broadcasting or remove computer information,” the statement said.
Police said there would be a briefing on the subject, but made no immediate comment.
(Reporting by Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Writing by Matthew Tostevin)
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