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BREAKING: Trudeau's censorship czar walks back comments about social media users being subject to regulation

Steven Guilbeault, Trudeau's heritage minister, now says that he used "unclear language" when he suggested that social media users with large followings will be subject to regulation under Bill-C-10, the widely-panned internet censorship bill.

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Steven Guilbeault, Trudeau's heritage minister, now says that he used "unclear language" when he suggested that social media users with large followings will be subject to regulation under Bill-C-10, the widely-panned internet censorship bill.

The attempted clarification comes after yet another disastrous interview with CTV's Evan Solomon during which he suggested social media users with "millions of viewers" who are "generating a lot of money on social media" would be counted as broadcasters.

The new statement says Guilbeault "should have been more precise" with his words: “An individual - a person - who uses social media will never be considered as broadcasters and will not be subject to the obligations or regulations within the Broadcasting Act. ... When social media platforms produce content for Canadians to watch or listen to -- for broadcast-- the platforms will be regulated... If a social media platform contracts an individual to produce content for broadcast, it will still be the social media platform that faces regulation."

During the interview with Solomon, Guilbeault sparked outrage by saying:

"What we want to do, this law should apply to people who are broadcasters, or act like broadcasters. So if you have a YouTube channel with millions of viewers, and you're deriving revenues from that, then at some point the CRTC will be asked to put a threshold. But we're talking about broadcasters here, we're not talking about everyday citizens posting stuff on their YouTube channel,” said Guilbeault.

Solomon slammed Guilbeault for loose language behind the bill, and said that despite the bill's writing that excludes individuals, it could still open the window to regulating user-generated content and overregulation.

"I've read that section, that excludes individuals, but it specifically does not exclude content and so it still leaves the door open. There was another exemption in there, 4.2, that seemed to satisfy everyone. Your government took it out. This is a hugely contentious issue," said Solomon.

"When you and I go on YouTube, we can decide to watch whatever we want, and YouTube makes a lot of suggestions… So all that we're asking these companies to do is, is to make it easily more accessible for Canadians to discover our Canadian artists, our Indigenous artists or Francophone artists," Guilbeault said.

Bill C-10 has been widely criticized by media and politicians from across the political spectrum for it's authoritarian and censorious approach to the internet and the free flow of information.

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