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Minister calls on government to regulate social media ahead of election

Gould asked a Liberal-dominated committee to help her come up with ways to address “fake news” and misinformation on the internet.

The Minister of Democratic Institutions has asked the Procedure and House Affairs committee to consider new regulations on social media companies ahead of the next federal election.

“I would encourage this committee to do a study of the role of social media in democracy, if that is something that you think is interesting,” Minister Karina Gould told the committee.

“To hold the social media companies to account.”

Gould asked the Liberal-dominated committee to help her come up with ways to address “fake news” and misinformation on the internet.

“I would welcome suggestions and feedback in terms of how to appropriately regulate or legislate that behaviour, because I think one of the biggest challenges — and you can see this around the world — is the path forward is not as clear.”

Despite recently announcing a new government campaign to fight “misinformation” online, Gould seems to be unsure how her department should treat the platforms where the news is spread.

Only a couple weeks ago Gould announced a new campaign from the government to teach Canadians what to believe online.

The government campaign will cost taxpayers $7 million, so that Canadians can be told what the government decides is “misinformation.”

The team defining what is and isn’t the truth online will be a committee of faceless bureaucrats from various departments.

These new media monitoring policies will not apply to the print media sector, which recently received a $595 million handout from the Trudeau government.

Gould told the committee that she has met with representatives from multiple social media companies recently, and for now is still investigating possible regulatory routes the government can use to ensure misinformation does not have an effect in the next election.

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