Online creators have increasingly spoken out against Bill C-11. Another creator is also speaking out.
It’s no secret how online creators – a cohort who would be greatly impacted by the legislation – feel about Bill C-11. As far back as early 2021, online creators have been speaking out against the legislation. Unfortunately, that growing opposition from online creators has been met with outright hostility by government officials. This has led to a dynamic where the Canadian government seemingly views online creators as mere obstacles for their online regulatory ambitions.
Of course, if you think that online creators are going to just let their careers potentially get wrecked by an over broad bill without a fight, well, that isn’t happening. Currently, the legislation is moving through various committee’s in the fastest way possible, silencing and shortening debate as much as possible. Despite this effort, creators are continuing to do what they can to have their voices heard. From National News Watch:
The Canadian creator of a children’s YouTube channel with 34.2 million subscribers has condemned the government’s online-streaming bill as a “bad piece of legislation” written by people who don’t understand how digital platforms work.
Morghan Fortier warned MPs on the House of Commons heritage committee Tuesday that the bill is “far too overreaching,” giving powers over the internet to the broadcast regulator.
“Bill C-11 is not an ill-intentioned piece of legislation, but it is a bad piece of legislation,” she said. “It has been written by those who don’t understand the industry.”
The YouTube entrepreneur said Bill C-11 confuses online platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and TikTok with broadcasters like CBC and Netflix.
Fortier said a light regulatory touch has been key to her and other digital creators’ success, arguing that Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez’s assurances that Bill C-11 would not affect user-generated content are “untrue.”
Fortier told MPs that one of her digital-first studio’s channels, Super Simple Songs, featuring kids’ songs set to animated videos, is the most-watched Canadian YouTube channel with over 1.3 billion views.
She said a clause in the bill giving the CRTC the potential to regulate users’ videos posted on YouTube should be deleted.
Fortier, of course, isn’t wrong in any of this. The legislation is clearly written by those who either have little to no understanding on how technology works or by those who are trying to push an agenda that undermines anyone online while similarly supporting legacy corporations in the media sector.
Many of those who support the legislation often offer hot takes that only showcase their ignorance to how platforms work, while at the same time, pretending to be experts in the field when they clearly are not. This includes the mistaken belief that there are unlimited recommendations that can be made at any given time (not at all the case) or that ordering platforms to recommend designated “cancon” content will have no impact on anyone else using the platform.
Obviously, Canadian creators are well within their right to openly oppose this legislation. In fact, they should be encouraged to do so. The problem in all of this is that government MP’s seem to have a much bigger interest in burning those careers down to the ground to line their pockets with lobbyist money. Not helping matters is an NDP party who have flip-flopped and decided that freedom of expression and Canadian’s with successful online careers can be sacrificed for what they think is short term political gain.
As we’ve said in other articles, the politics are just not on Canadian’s side in all of this. At the very least, though, creators are at least not going down without a fight. All this will inevitably lead to a court challenge whenever this legislation gets passed. Let’s face it, it would take a miracle for this legislation to get stopped dead in its tracks at this point. It’s why legal action is seemingly the inevitable step that’s going to be taken in the future. At that point, there is hope that freedom of expression can be successfully defended.
(Hat Tip: @Mgeist)