[MTP readers may recall that I lived in Toronto and Montreal for many years and played with some of the Quebec and English Canadian artists as a member of Local 406. I try to keep an eye on what’s happening in the North. I can’t help noticing that Google lobbyists and fanboys are running the same old “but censorship!” play in Canada that they tried in Europe and the US. This is kind of ridiculous for the Kings of Algorithms at the Chocolate Factory. This post from Kate Taylor writing at the Globe and Mail sums it up nicely.]
If you believe my current Twitter feed, the Liberal government in Ottawa has misplaced its mind along with all democratic norms and is about to pass a law that will censor Canadians’ internet activity. Apparently, no funny cat video, let alone sneaky political GIF, will ever be safe again as Big Brother Justin rips page after page from China’s notoriously intrusive internet policies. One defiant wit, in the dying days of his free expression, recently posted an old socialist realist painting of Mao onto whose head he had cleverly morphed Justin Trudeau’s face. Meanwhile, in an opinion piece published in the National Post Saturday, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole began quoting George Orwell, telling Canadians the Liberals might start monitoring their Facebook groups and their comments on news stories.
Well, the truth is that Trudeau and Mao share neither the same hairline nor the same politics. The alarm over supposed censorship is overblown and misplaced. It is fuelled by dishonest politicking from O’Toole and the Conservatives, and predictable paranoia from technological fundamentalists, those who believe the heaven-sent internet should not be subject to any human law – disinformation and election interference be damned.