Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould sent a strong warning to Twitter and urged it to take more responsibility ahead of Canada’s federal election.
“We know that their platform has been used and manipulated by foreign and malicious actors and we’re still waiting to hear what their plans are here in Canada,” Gould told reporters in Ottawa on June 6th.
Recently, Gould unveiled the Declaration of Electoral Integrity, in which the government will work with online platforms in order to fight actors trying to disrupt the election.
As of now, Google, Facebook and Microsoft have all signed onto the declaration.
“We haven’t heard from Twitter on the declaration…we haven’t heard from Twitter in terms of what they’re planning on doing for the upcoming election,” Gould said.
“I think it’s important for Canadians to be aware that Twitter has essentially decided not to take responsibility for these activities, that Twitter is not committing to what they’ll do here in Canada. And quite frankly, we’re facing a time crunch.”
Twitter Canada said it had no comment to make at the time, according to the CBC.
This past December, Bill C-76, the act to amend the Elections Act, received royal assent. There were some new provisions that regulate digital platforms in preparation for the election. Those regulations include limits on political advertising by parties, reporting requirements for third parties and not allowing foreign entities to donate during elections.
For example, it would mean digital platforms needed to create an ad registry for political ads and if a registry is not created, then per violation of a political ad, the digital platform faces a $2,000 CAD fine.
As part of the new C-76 rules, social media sites have to create a political ad registry. Facebook has already agreed to create one, while Google says it will not be participating.