Enforcing Bill C-63, also known as the Online Harms Act in Canada, could have implications for free speech and society. The Act aims to expand hate speech laws and regulate harmful content online, potentially impacting freedom of expression. If enforced, the Act would introduce new regulations for social media platforms, requiring them to monitor and remove harmful content, which includes categories like incitement to violence and content that foments hatred[2][3][4].

The Act would establish a Digital Safety Commission of Canada to oversee compliance with the new regulations, with significant powers to enforce penalties on non-compliant operators. Operators of social media services would face obligations to detect harmful content, develop digital safety plans, and comply with removal requirements. Failure to comply could lead to substantial monetary penalties of up to 6% of global revenue or $10 million[2][3].

While the Act aims to mitigate online harms and protect individuals, concerns have been raised about its potential impact on free speech. The definition of harmful content, especially regarding content that foments hatred, raises questions about the balance between regulating harmful content and safeguarding freedom of expression online. The Act's broad scope and regulatory powers could pose challenges in application and potentially restrict certain forms of online expression[2][3].

Enforcing Bill C-63 in its current form could lead to a more regulated online environment in Canada, potentially impacting free speech by imposing strict rules on social media platforms to monitor and remove harmful content. The Act's implementation will require careful consideration to ensure a balance between protecting individuals from online harms and upholding freedom of expression.

[1] https://www.nortonrosefulbright.com/en-ca/knowledge/publications/307d02f8/bill-c-63-the-online-harms-act
[2] https://www.torys.com/our-latest-thinking/publications/2024/02/online-harms-act-bill-c-63
[3] https://www.blakes.com/insights/canada-bill-c63-online-harms-act-targets-harmful-content-on-social-media
[4] https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/five-things-to-know-about-canada-s-proposed-law-to-guard-against-online-harms-1.6785283
[5] https://techpolicy.press/an-overview-of-canadas-online-harms-act

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