Browsing Graduate Capstones by Author "Alam, Arshia"
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- ItemOpen AccessTo Regulate or Not to Regulate? The Future of Disinformation in Canada(2021-08-30) Alam, Arshia; McQuillan, KevinThe rise in technology in recent years has ushered in massive contributions to social discourse and democratic expression by increasing accessibility through the Internet. However, at the same time, the advancement in online engagement has been met with a rise in disinformation. Disinformation is defined as false or misleading information that is deliberately created and disseminated with the intent to deceive. This rapid spread of disinformation is troublesome as it has the ability to generate mass public disapproval, thereby accelerating instances of violence in society as well as increased political polarization. Moreover, increased disinformation harms social institutions such as the health care system which leads to decreased health outcomes. All in all, disinformation is an evolving threat that requires a comprehensive solution to address it. Currently, regulation in Canada is outdated and holds social media platforms to minimal accountability. Electoral laws such as the Canada Elections Act and the Elections Modernization Act have been highly inadequate to deal with digitalization. Many academics and media specialists advocate for substantial changes. The most direct solution to date dealing with regulating the internet has been in the form of Bill C-10 which seeks to update the Broadcasting Act. This bill, as well as other government initiatives still do not effectively address disinformation directly meaning that electoral processes will still be negatively affected. Moving forward, the government needs to establish policies that directly tackle the factors that allow for the proliferation of disinformation on digital platforms. This includes greater transparency from big tech giants, the enactment of takedown laws of harmful content online as well as increased media literacy initiatives. Taken together, these steps could help in drastically reducing the impact of disinformation on online platforms.