Subverting Democracy to Save Democracy: Canada’s Extra-Constitutional Approaches to Battling 'Fake News'

This article was drafted for publication in the Canadian Journal of Law and Technology: Vol 17, No 2 (2019).

34 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2019

See all articles by Michael Karanicolas

Michael Karanicolas

Yale University - Yale Information Society Project

Date Written: July 19, 2019

Abstract

This paper considers Canada’s responses to the spread of online misinformation in an electoral context, particularly through updated criminal provisions prohibiting the spread of false information in the Canada Elections Act, and through a recent push to “jawbone” online platforms into taking proactive measures to stem the flow of problematic speech, arguing that both of these raise substantial freedom of expression concerns, and that efforts to sidestep key constitutional questions around the appropriate scope of restrictions on political speech may ultimately pose a greater threat to Canadian democracy than online misinformation.

Keywords: fake news, misinformation, freedom of expression, election law, disinformation, freedom of speech

Suggested Citation

Karanicolas, Michael, Subverting Democracy to Save Democracy: Canada’s Extra-Constitutional Approaches to Battling 'Fake News' (July 19, 2019). This article was drafted for publication in the Canadian Journal of Law and Technology: Vol 17, No 2 (2019).. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3423092

Michael Karanicolas (Contact Author)

Yale University - Yale Information Society Project ( email )

127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

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