Although Elon Musk’s decisions since acquiring Twitter last year — and subsequently rebranding the social media platform X — have ruffled some feathers across the ideological spectrum, he has attracted widespread support due to his ongoing advocacy for free speech.
Meanwhile, officials in Canada are continuing to crack down on such freedoms with a new slate of regulations seemingly designed to guarantee conformity of thought among the nation’s broadcasters.
Musk sounded off on the “shameful” new policies after reports surfaced this week, calling out Prime Minister Justin Trudeau specifically for his role in the process.
According to a news release by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, a plan that has been in the works since May seeks to “modernize Canada’s broadcasting network” through the implementation of several requirements.
The first new rule involves registration with the commission, which will be required for broadcasters with $10 million or more in annual revenue.
Next, the CRTC has implemented new “conditions” for online streaming platforms, effective immediately, that require the disclosure of “information related to their content and subscribership.
Other requirements currently under consideration include a requirement that “traditional broadcasters and online streaming services” make unspecified financial contributions “to support Canadian and Indigenous content.”
For her part, CRTC CEO Vicky Eatrides touted the new requirements as a pathway toward “developing a modern broadcasting framework that can adapt to changing circumstances.”
She went on to celebrate the “robust public records” that the commission is in the process of compiling, adding: “We appreciate the significant participation during this first phase and look forward to hearing a diversity of perspectives at our contributions proceeding in November.”
Critics including journalist Glenn Greenwald, however, say the program is further evidence that Canada has “one of the world’s most repressive online censorship schemes.”
The Canadian government, armed with one of the world's most repressive online censorship schemes, announces that all "online streaming services that offer podcasts" must formally register with the government to permit regulatory controls:https://t.co/wHOloLgnY2 pic.twitter.com/6noTYceVsg
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) October 1, 2023
Musk agreed, responding to Greenwald’s post by asserting that “Trudeau is trying to crush free speech in Canada.”
The CRTC attempted to address concerns in a separate statement.
“You will be able to continue to listen to and watch the content of your choice,” the agency asserted. “Our goal is to better support Canadian and indigenous content and ensure it is available on radio, TV, and online streaming services. We have always respected Canadians’ right to freedom of expression.”