Platforms for Harm?

Monday, September 21, 2020 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Public Event: Virtual Event
Sep 21

For almost 30 years, the World Wide Web has been open to the public, but with the advent of user-generated content in the early 2000s, the promise of a truly decentralized and unmoderated communications network appears to have been realized. For some time, though, it has been clear that Web 2.0 is a double-edged sword: the benefits of increased global connectivity, communication and economic growth are now being overshadowed by hate speech, bullying, disinformation, and other illegal or otherwise objectionable content.

As the shadowy side of the ungoverned Web takes hold, democratic governments are faced with the question of how to hold the platforms accountable for their role in perpetuating these harms in a manner that respects and upholds free expression.

We live in a society where one in five young Canadians are, or have been, victims of cyberbullying and cyber harassment, and female politicians are being inundated with hateful and misogynistic attacks online. Who is responsible for managing this harmful content and mitigating risk in this new field of prevention? How is Canada positioned to protect its citizens without unduly compromising free expression?

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and Friends of Canadian Broadcasting invite you to join this interactive panel discussion on Sept. 21, 2020, at 12 p.m. ET. This panel of platform governance experts and lawyers will share their unique opinions and first-hand experiences with online harmful content and aim to identify a balance of free speech and the rule of law in relation to harmful content online.


  • Rita Trichur, Senior Business Writer and Columnist, The Globe and Mail



Event Speakers

Rita Trichur is an award-winning journalist. She is a senior business writer and columnist for The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business Magazine.

Daniel Bernhard is FRIENDS' Executive Director and Spokesperson.

Taylor Owen is a CIGI senior fellow and the host of Big Tech with Taylor Owen. He is an expert on the governance of emerging technologies, journalism and media studies, and on the international relations of digital technology. 

Heidi Tworek is a CIGI senior fellow and an expert on platform governance, the history of media technologies, and health communications. She is an associate professor of public policy and international history at the University of British Columbia.