In sweeping effort to regulate online speech, Trudeau government announces it will regulate YouTube

In its sweeping effort led by Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault to regulate online speech and communications, the government has voted to apply federal-government dictated content regulations to the streaming platform.

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The Commons heritage committee on Friday passed a vote that removed the exemption of Bill C-10 for the video streaming platform YouTube, Blacklock’s reported. 

Bill C-10 (An Act To Amend The Broadcasting Act) will largely expand the government’s regulatory powers to online media, content and videos. 

“The programming we upload onto YouTube, that programming we place on that service, would be subject to regulation moving forward”, the director-general of broadcasting for the heritage department, Thomas Ripley said. 

In March, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the regulatory arm of the Canadian government for media and telecommunications said it would regulate “all programming”, including videos shared on the internet.

Steven Guilbeault, the Liberal minister leading the charge with the C-10 bill said the measures would make Canadians “safer” on the internet. 

The CRTC has come under question in recent years. The agency’s obsolete regulations have hindered Canadian media significantly. For example, numerous radio stations in the province of Quebec must abide by quotas of french music to play on their stations. French music is often less popular and in-demand than English songs, and the radio stations have been penalized by the CRTC’s strict regulatory framework as users migrated to platforms like Spotify and Apple music to avoid the quotas. 

The C-10 offensive will give the CRTC new powers over online media and platforms that were traditionally free of the heavy regulatory burden, allowing users to navigate freely and enjoy fair prices.

It is unclear how the C-10 regulation will be applied to platforms like YouTube, but the government has emphasized it wants to make the internet a “safer” place, likely indicating that standards for censorship will be drastically lowered.

The government is also interested in content quotas.

More details will come. 

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