Canadian Government Now Resorting to Cartoons to Mislead Canadians on Bill C-11

With misleading statements on Bill C-11 falling flat, the Canadian government is apparently using cartoons now.

It’s already been a hard year for Canadian digital first creators. Thanks to Bill C-11, those producers, along with their own viewers, are now faced with an increasingly scary abyss where all hopes and dreams go to die. The Canadian government is wanting to control what viewers see or hear on various platforms and it won’t be the content produced by those digital first creators. So, the worry is that their careers is about to hit the brick wall of heavy government regulation.

While some of these creators have done everything possible to make sure their voices are heard, their voices were met with Liberal’s lashing out for daring to speak up about the piece of legislation that threatens to end their career. Of course, attacking them during committee meetings wasn’t enough for Liberals. They ended up lashing out at those creators on social media on top of it all. When others defended those creators, the Liberals attacked the experts who intervened on top of it all.

In short, Chris Bittle asked what sections are cause for concern. Experts answered that the sections are Section 4.1(2) and 4.2. Bittle then screamed misinformation, clearly not liking the fact that this question had a 100% valid response. YouTube, for their part, is also intervening making the exact same points as critics and experts alike. In response, it looked as though Bittle was open to amendments to the legislation – something we were quite skeptical given the legislation’s history as Bill C-10 in the last government.

As we are now finding out, this skepticism is well founded. The Canadian government is now apparently posting cartoons to help spread disinformation about Bill C-11. The cartoon, itself, contains false information about Bill C-11:

With Bill #C11, we’re making sure that streaming platform giants help support & grow our 🇨🇦 arts & culture sector

The Online Streaming Act means more jobs & investment for 🇨🇦 artists & creators. And it means the amazing content they produce more accessible to all of us #cdnpoli

The cartoon is so wrong, it’s comical. Bill C-11 explicitly states that content that is uploaded to social media is, in fact, regulated. What’s more is that the provisions state that the CRTC can further clamp down on what it wants to regulate (Section 4.2).

Perhaps lost in all of this is the fact that the cartoon actually represents a shift in the strategy of how the government intends on delivering its lies in an effort to sell Bill C-11. Of particular note is the fact that this cartoon is actually supposed to be directed at ordinary citizens. This as opposed to the Canadian creators who have been quite vocal in their opposition towards this legislation.

From an ordinary Canadian consumer, this legislation would have a major impact on the Canadian viewer. Instead of having related content that is much more relevant to what the viewer is interested, the recommendations would be mandated to be what the government feels is what you are interested in. This, of course, means less choice for the viewers who will now find it more difficult to use the various platforms.

To put this into perspective, imagine going onto YouTube and finding a video that you are wanting to watch. Now, YouTube knows the general themes of that video and has, say, 1,000 video’s that have a similar theme. However, it only has 10 spaces for the recommendations it thinks will be most relevant to you. So, it determines what people tend to click on more and becomes extra choosy on which video’s you might be interested in. As a result, the recommendations end up being highly relevant for you. The user wins out considerably here.

What Bill C-11 will do is say that 4 of those 10 recommended video’s has to be government approved “Canadian content”. So, it needs to find recommended video’s for, say, 4 of those 10 video’s that is certified Canadian content. Unfortunately, in that pool of 1,000 video’s YouTube thinks is relevant, only 2 of those video’s has even passing relevance, but is actually Canadian content. So, those two video’s will invariably get selected. They’re not a good fit, but what choice does YouTube have?

So, the next question is, what to do with those other two spaces? Well, they have to be “certified Canadian”, so finding something relevant in the event nothing is available is not an option. So, YouTube will probably pick two video’s at random that has absolutely nothing to do with the video the user watched in the first place.

Now, what do you have after all of that? Well, you have two junky video’s that has only the thinnest of relevance to the video you just watched. You also have two more video’s that have no relevance to the video you just watched. After that, there are six video’s that actually are relevant, but are not Canadian content. In short, the recommendations section lowers in quality by 40% because those 4 “Canadian content” recommendations are terrible. It means that your viewing experience will be hampered by this legislation.

Unsurprisingly, the cartoon was Photoshopped to be more based on facts:

The Photoshop made the cartoon 100% accurate here.

You can almost hear the thinking behind the scenes that went in to making this cartoon in the first place. It’s like someone said, “Gee, we tried to mislead the public about C-11, but got called out on it instantly by both experts and the content creators. This really isn’t going well.”, “Hmm, perhaps the problem is that our lies aren’t pretty enough. Do you think if we made pretty cartoons, that people will actually believe our lies?” “Brilliant! This has to be the problem: our lies weren’t pretty enough. Let’s get someone on that right away!”

Obviously, this hairbrained idea went down about as well as you could expect. Michael Geist published an article asking why the governments response to Bill C-11 criticism so “cartoonishly misleading“? Truth be told, given how these misleading and false statements are going on repeat at this point, it’s entirely possible that the government has simply ran out of talking points and have resorted to recycling the same ones over and over again in the hopes that if they say the same line enough times, it’ll eventually be magically true on its own.

What’s more is that this latest effort to try and recycle these misleading or false claims is further evidence that the offer to reform the law might not actually be genuine. In fact, there is more reason to believe that actual solutions that actually fix the problems in the bill will, once again, get voted down – thus repeating history in the process. This latest attempt to try and get the public on their side really quite pathetic.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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