Special Round Table Discussion: Digital Platform Governance

Monday, December 7, 2020 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Private Event: Roundtable
Dec 7

Participation in this event is by invitation only

The Centre for International Governance Innovations's Global Platform Governance Network and the McGill Centre for Media, Technology and Democracy are pleased to invite you to a special virtual round table discussion on digital platform governance on December 7, 2020, from 12 to 3 p.m. (EST, UTC-5).

Governments around the world continue to grapple with how best to safeguard their citizens’ privacy, safety and security online, while maintaining the economic and social benefits of our unprecedented ability to connect. This tension has been exacerbated by the current COVID-19 environment, as worldwide lockdowns have increased our collective reliance on the online world for our work, education and social interactions. This situation has, however, also revealed an exponential growth in the negative aspects of digital platforms, including the spread of dis/misinformation and hate speech, increased risks to privacy and personal security, the concentration of market power among a few private companies, and the continued erosion of local newsrooms and democratic norms.

Canada has signalled its commitment to “create new regulations for social media platforms, starting with a requirement that all platforms remove illegal content, including hate speech.” As the federal government prepares legislation to address this commitment, it can benefit from the experiences of its allies and external experts who are tackling these same challenges.

The goal of this meeting is to foster an honest, open conversation between a small group of experts and senior government representatives at a strategic moment of government decision making. Through three 50-minute deliberative dialogues, the group will work collectively through key questions facing the government as it moves toward a legislative package regulating digital platforms:

  • What information should be included in a mandatory transparency requirement for platforms?
  • How should disputes about Canadian content moderation on digital platforms be adjudicated?
  • What powers should be given to a new regulator, and how should this regulator be structured?

We are pleased to welcome the minister of Canadian heritage, The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, and parliamentary secretary to the minister of justice and attorney general of Canada, Arif Virani, to join the round table discussion. The session will be supported by leading Canadian and international experts, who will join in conversation with government experts and decision makers to examine the issues underlying each question and come to a collective position.

The meeting will be held under CIGI Rule, a variation of the Chatham House Rule.