The Canadian Liberal convention proposal to combat online disinformation criticised as an attack on press freedom

The Liberal party has adopted a policy resolution to combat online disinformation, but critics warn it could limit press freedom.

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The Liberal party members adopted a policy resolution to combat online disinformation, calling on the Liberals to investigate options for implementation. At the same time, critics warn it could give the government control over Canadian media.

According to Michael Geist, Canadian Chair of the internet and E-Commerce Law Research, this is a risky proposition not needed in a country like Canada and intended for more authoritarian regimes. Geist is urging the Liberal administration to withdraw its support for the initiative.

The resolution has been denounced by Pablo Rodriquez and his press secretary Laura Scafidi, who wrote in an email that the liberal administration would never create a policy that limits press freedom or dictates how journalists perform their work.

As the author of this resolution, Liberal Catherine Evans notes that she stated that the policy’s sole purpose is to defend against disinformation that is published on the internet without prior verification (such as information on Twitter and Facebook) and not to degrade journalists, who are responsible for their sources.