Heritage Minister backtracks on saying Bill C-10 may apply to accounts with large followings

The minister now says social media users 'will never' be regulated

Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault has backtracked on comments that the CRTC may regulate accounts that have a large following under Bill C-10.

Guilbeault had told CTV News during an interview that if an account has millions of viewers or was “acting like a broadcaster,” the CRTC may have regulating powers related to the discoverability of online content.

In a new statement sent to CTV News, the minister has stated that he should have been more precise in his previous wording and that social media users won’t be regulated.

“An individual — a person — who uses social media will never be considered as broadcasters and will not be subject to the obligations or regulations within the Broadcasting Act,” the statement reads.

Guilbeault outlined that “when social media platforms produce content for Canadians to watch or listen to — for broadcast– the platforms will be regulated… If a social media platform contracts an individual to produce content for broadcast, it will still be the social media platform that faces regulation.”

The comments from Guilbeault follow intense backlash over the past two weeks from the public and experts who have said Bill C-10 would infringe on free speech and expression.

Last week, Guilbeault tried to calm these concerns by announcing that the government is going to bring forward another amendment to Bill C-10 to make it clear that the CRTC won’t be regulating social media posts but that the commission would still have powers regarding the discoverability of Canadian content online.

Image credit: @StevenGuilbeault

Source: CTV News