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Trudeau stresses need for balance as government considers social media regulation

Last Updated Apr 10, 2019 at 12:26 pm EDT

FILE - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a media availability in Montreal on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz)
Summary

Justin Trudeau is stressing the need for balance as the federal government considers regulating social media companies


'Virtual world sometimes spills over into the real world,' Trudeau says, adds social media companies have responsibility


Trudeau says hate,intolerance is a real problem on social media, adds it's important companies do their part


OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – As the federal government considers a move to regulate social media companies, the country’s leader is stressing the need to strike a proper balance.

While the feds have floated the idea of regulation, it’s not clear how far it will go.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government is looking at what is appropriate.

“We need to always walk that careful balance between respecting rights to free expression and free speech, and keeping our community safe.”

He says it’s unfortunate that hate and intolerance is a real problem on social media, and adds it’s important companies understand their responsibility.

“Unfortunately, what happens in the virtual world sometimes spills over into the real world and I think it’s really important that social media companies understand their responsibility to shape and to ensure that our communities stay safe for everyone,” Trudeau says.

The government is keeping an eye on Britain’s proposed online safety law, which would slap penalties on social media and tech companies that fail to protect their users from harmful content.

The issue was put in the spotlight again after the New Zealand mass shooting was live streamed online last month, and more concerns are raised about online content aimed at misleading voters in an election.

Whether it be fake news or fake accounts trying to influence your vote, the Communications Security Establishment said on Monday that voters should be informed and prepared for interference.

The CSE says there was a threefold increase in cyber threat activities to elections around the world over the last three years.