BC Human Rights Commissioner finds government and legal responses ineffective against online hate


Posted March 7, 2023 12:37 pm Updated March 7, 2023 1:13 pm WATCH: The press conference outlining the findings of the report. After investigating for more than a year, B.C.’s Human Rights Commissioner has found online hate rose dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic and both government and legal responses to deal with hate have been largely ineffective. The nearly 500-page report concluded a lack of relevant policies in public institutions, an absence of data and underfunding of community organizations contributed to government policies not helping.“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we lost our collective innocence,” the Officer of the Humans Rights Commissioner report reads.“And we know now that along with a health crisis of this proportion, we will see social crises, such as the rise of hate and violence.”Human Rights Commissioner Kasari Govender has provided 12 recommendations to government to “demonstrate its commitment” to addressing hate. Story continues below advertisement The recommendations include calling on the head of the BC Public Service to create a role of assistant deputy minister to coordinate responses to hate.The commissioner is also calling on the province to publish reliable data on hate incidents and publish annual reports on progress made to address online hate. 2:13 BC Human Rights Commissioner launches online portal for reporting hate crimes The report also includes recommendations to expand the school curriculum to include more anti-hate information and for the Public Safety Ministry to fund a civilian or community-led reporting system for hate incidents. Trending Now “Community responses to hate can be effective with adequate funding and centralized coordination,” the report reads. Story continues below advertisement “In particular, community organizations are shown to be effective in supporting those who have experienced hate, as well as in providing exit avenues for this who have perpetrated hate.”The report also blames social media companies directly for a lack of commitment and policies to prevent the spread of online hate.An increased amount of time spent online in part led to the rampant spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories which contributed directly to online hate.The report found many companies are not transparent about how hate is showing up on their social media platforms.“Many algorithms used by social media companies to generate profit also generate hate by driving viewers to hateful comments,” the report reads.“The policies and practices of many social media companies demonstrate a lack of commitment to addressing the rise in hate on their platforms.” &copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc. Sponsored content Flyers

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