Canada to make Online Hate Speech a Crime Punishable by $16,000 fine

Canada’s ruling Liberal government announced that it plans to make online hate speech a crime punishable by as much as $20,000 (roughly $16,250 US) for the first offense and $50,000 ($40,600 US) for the second. The proposal would punish social media users who broke the law but exempt social media companies that host such content from fines.

The news, first reported by Canada’s public broadcaster, comes after a 20-year-old man recently rammed his truck into a family of five in Ontario, killing everyone but a 9-year-old girl, in what Canadian police say was an anti-Muslim terror attack.

Canada’s Attorney General David Lametti assured Canadians that the proposed law would not target “simple expressions of dislike or disdain” during a virtual press conference on Wednesday that was livestreamed on YouTube.