March 12, 2024
The Backbench
#85 The Hate U Post
Richard Warman used to take neo-nazis he found online to the human rights commission. He used an obscure provision called Section 13, which was repealed in 2014. 
Aviva Lessard
Sam Konnert
Caleb Thompson
Audio Editor
André Proulx
Production Coordinator
Karyn Pugliese

But it may be coming back.

The long-awaited Online Harms Act includes a section allowing human rights complaints over online hate speech. Free speech advocates are worried, but some say it’s time trolls start behaving. 

Who gets to decide what’s hate speech? Is this the end of online hate or the start of something more sinister? To find out, Mattea Roach asked Emily Laidlaw, a Canada Research Chair in Cybersecurity Law and an Associate Professor at the University of Calgary, and Richard Moon, a law professor at the University of Windsor. 

Correction (March 18, 2024): This episode’s description originally stated that the proposed Online Harms Act would permit “users to sue each other for hate speech online.” In fact, it would allow the Canadian Human Rights Commission to consider complaints related to allegedly discriminatory online speech and to refer such complaints to the quasi-judicial Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

Host:  Mattea Roach

Credits: Aviva Lessard (Producer), Sam Konnert (Producer), Caleb Thompson (Audio Editor and Technical Producer), André Proulx (Production Coordinator) Karyn Pugliese (Editor-in-Chief)

Guests: Richard Moon, Emily Laidlaw


Background reading:


Sponsors: Douglas, AG1


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