Hi! It’s been a while, I know. My apologies. Between cleaning up the last of the basement, researching stuff, writing, and having an all-expenses-paid trip to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, I’ve been a busy little bee.
I know that the first four things make sense, but Ottawa? What’s in Ottawa? The Citizen’s Assembly for Democratic Expression. A group of Canadians was chosen from all 10 provinces and the three territories, and we met in Ottawa to make recommendations for their legislature on the subject of the internet, and in particular, the many harms and hateful speech that seem to be prevalent.
We agreed that people and platforms should be held accountable for what they say online, and to who they say it. We agreed that some sort of education program to help the most vulnerable (seniors, children, and those who are afraid of the internet) learn more about the internet so that they won’t be harmed by their ignorance of what goes on here.
We also had quite a few thoughts on misinformation and disinformation, and how we deal with both. Repercussions were also discussed, especially for the deliberate falsification of information that is sent out to those who don’t know any better. Not everyone is a master at legalese, so having things like terms of service in plain language was one topic of consideration.
I can’t say a whole lot about what we discussed until the final report comes out in a few months, but you’ll be hearing more about it in the coming months, undoubtedly, when someone, or someones like us, tries to convince the federal government to do the right thing.
Here’s a link to the press release.