Canadian News Jul 20, 2021 4:45 PM EST

Canadian law professor sues Twitter, Canadian government over ad censorship

A Canadian law professor is suing Twitter and the Canadian government after Twitter denied him ads for his new documentary.

Canadian law professor sues Twitter, Canadian government over ad censorship
Elie Cantin-Nantel Ottawa, ON
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A Canadian law professor is suing Twitter and the Canadian government after Twitter denied him the ability to buy ads on the platform for his new documentary.

University of British Columbia professor Joel Bekan, who has written books and produced films that criticize the power of corporations, wanted to purchase promoted tweets for the trailer of his new film  "The New Corporation," but Twitter refused to let him do so, The Logic reports.

Bekan opted to sue Twitter, to try and force the big tech giant to let him promote his film on their platform. According to Bekan, Twitter is a part of the public square, and hence should be ordered by a judge to allow him to buy ads promoting his documentary.

The UBC professor is also suing the Canadian government, as he believes it should implement a law that protects freedom of expression on social media.

In an interview to The Logic, Bekan said that "this is the kind of speech that our Supreme Court in this country has identified as being at the core of the constitutional protection of freedom of expression."

He added that "It's about public policy, politics; it's about social relations. And it's making an argument to try to make society better, to try to make it more democratic."

According to Twitter, tweets that "references a candidate, political party, elected or appointed government official, election, referendum, ballot measure, legislation, regulation, directive, or judicial outcome" cannot be promoted.

However, Bekan denies that the tweets he seeks to promote contradict Twitter's political advertising ban, stating "I'm not going to say it doesn't have a point of view, it does. It has a point of view about the dangers of expanding corporate power and the importance of rejuvenating democracy. But, you know, that’s the view that President Biden in the United States and Prime Minister Trudeau expressed."

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