Virtual Discussion – National Forum Supporting Legislation to Combat Online Hate

Monday 19 July 2021, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm EDT, online (Canada)


Canada, and the world, has seen a rise in hate that has reached disastrous levels, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.   Online hate has offline consequences. It seems like every day there is a new case of anti-Asian racism in the media. During COVID-19 the most dramatic outcome of online hate activity was the January 6, 2021 insurrection against the United States Government. Hate did not become an issue during the pandemic. In 2019 the Christchurch Mosque attack which resulted in 51 deaths and 40 injured. In 2017 a mosque in Quebec City was attacked, killing 6 and injuring 5. It was widely reported that the Quebec City attacker was radicalized online. Internationally, online hate, particularly on social media platforms, has been used to orchestrate Genocide in Myanmar and religious persecution in India against religious and ethnic minorities.

Bad actors may claim that efforts to remove online hate stifle free expression, however communities seeking equity face harassment and threats just for participating in our society online, especially if they’re talking journalism or politics. For some people, it is a matter of life and death.  Social media companies have come under fire for not enforcing at-scale policies surrounding hate speech and leading to a toxic and radicalizing product.

Last year Facebook Canada claimed that less than 1% of its content was hate-related – we know that is not true. Policies across all social media platforms are inconsistent and sorely lacking, resulting in hate spreading faster than it ever has before.  Facebook Canada has asked the Liberal government for guidelines, but they cannot be trusted to enforce them on their own, and they require oversight to ensure fair and equitable application.

We are hosting this forum to raise awareness and lend support to regulation being written by the Canadian Government to address online hate. Canada can take a leading role in helping to bring an end to global online hate — and hopefully real-world violence.


Find out more information and book your free place here:

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