Elon Musk Denounces Canadian Online Harms Bill; Labels It 'Insane'

Elon Musk Denounces Canadian Online Harms Bill; Labels It 'Insane'

The legislation proposes to create a new digital safety regulator and includes changes to the Criminal Code to usher in stricter penalties for hate-related crimes.

ANIUpdated: Wednesday, May 08, 2024, 04:30 PM IST
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Elon Musk | Image: Wikipedia

San Franciso: Tesla CEO Elon Musk has jumped into a debate about a new hate speech law in Canada that would allow Canadian citizens to seek financial compensation from anyone who posts "discriminatory" content online.

Online Harms Bill

The new Online Harms Bill, aims to safeguarding people in Canada, especially children, from "hate speech."

On Tuesday, Elon Musk retweeted a news article about the bill. "This sounds insane if accurate! @CommunityNotes, please check" said Musk on the social media platform X, tagging X's crowdsourced fact checking service, Community Notes.

"The Trudeau regime has introduced an Orwellian new law called the Online Harms Bill C-63, which will give police the power to retroactively search the Internet for 'hate speech' violations and arrest offenders, even if the offence occurred before the law existed," stated the article that Musk based his tweet on.

About Online Harms Bill

On February 26, this year, the Justin Trudeau-led Canada Government introduced the Bill C-63 to create a new Online Harms Act - a baseline standard for online platforms to keep Canadians safe, to hold online platforms accountable for the content they host, create stronger protections for children online and better safeguard people in the country from online hate.

The legislation proposes to create a new digital safety regulator and includes changes to the Criminal Code to usher in stricter penalties for hate-related crimes. The regulator will have the the power to issue 24-hour takedown orders to companies for content deemed to be child sexual abuse or intimate photos and videos shared without consent, the New York Times said.

The agency could also initiate investigations of tech companies and impose hefty, multimillion dollar fines. The bill would allow Canadians to file complaints to an existing human rights commission that can ultimately lead to financial penalties of up to 50,000 Canadian dollars against people judged to have committed hate speech, the New York Times said.

Bill Faces Backlash

The bill has faced backlash with opposers stating that the proposal crosses the line into censorship and limits free speech. Canada's Conservative Party leader, Pierre Poilievre, has questioned the need for more bureaucracy, saying online crimes could be dealt with through expanded criminal enforcement.

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