update deskAntisemitism

B’nai Brith Canada pushes for revisions to Online Harms Act

“We remain concerned about a lack of specific recognition in this bill toward rising levels of hate, in the form of antisemitism,” said David Granovsky, the group’s director of government relations.

The Centre Block Canadian Parliament building with the Peace Tower in front, in Ottawa, Southern Ontario. Credit: Saffron Blaze via Wikimedia Commons.
The Centre Block Canadian Parliament building with the Peace Tower in front, in Ottawa, Southern Ontario. Credit: Saffron Blaze via Wikimedia Commons.

Proposed Canadian legislation to more aggressively regulate dangerous material online has drawn B’nai Brith Canada to call for improvements.

On Monday, Arif Virani, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada introduced the Online Harms Act (Bill C-63) into Canada’s parliament. It would require social media and streaming sites to remove within 24 hours content such as underage sexual images. It also lists seven categories of harmful content, including bullying against children and videos of self-mutilation, which came into play this week regarding U.S. Air Force pilot Aaron Bushnell.

David Granovsky, B’nai Brith Canada’s director of government relations, said that while the group supported the effort to protect children online, “we remain concerned about a lack of specific recognition in this bill toward rising levels of hate, in the form of antisemitism, in Canada.”

In a statement, B’nai Brith Canada said it was asking for the bill to be amended, drawing on recommendations from the group’s 2021 report, “How Social Media Algorithms Fuel Hate Speech and Misinformation.”

Richard Robertson, B’nai Brith’s director of research and advocacy, said the group remains “hopeful that we can meet with Minister Virani and members of the House of Commons Justice Committee in the near future to discuss effective ways to address the frightening rise in online antisemitism in this country.”

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