Less than a generation ago, Canada was a world leader when it came to the fundamental democratic freedoms of assembly, speech and information. So perhaps it is time for us Canadians to wake up and smell the suppression -- no longer are censorships solely the purview of tin-pot dictators in far away regimes.
Faulty advertising rules caused extensive problems for small spenders such as non-profit and charity groups during the 2009 B.C. election. The rules led to widespread confusion, wasted resources, anxiety and, most dangerously, self-censorship among organizations that spent little or nothing on election advertising. The government should have (and could have) fixed this situation when it was amending the law this spring, but chose not to.
Let's get one thing straight: Abubakar Kasim is not advocating for "tolerance, respect and harmony" in his latest piece for the Huffington Post. He's advocating for the banning and censorship of "Innocence of Muslims." While "Innocence of Muslims" contributes nothing whatsoever to the discourse surrounding "one of the world's greatest religions" to ban it would be to ban the understanding of an inciting force that has had gut-wrenching consequences.
Do you actively seek out different opinions than your own, or unwittingly reinforce your personal conventional wisdom by only consuming "agreeable" content? While we may think it is the former, too often we live in a bubble. Here are some reasons why we're not as open-minded or as free as we may think, and how the internet is really preventing us from experiencing new things.
In the highly turbulent world of the Middle East, social media has been playing an extremely significant role in raising awareness and inciting change. But in Iran, the internet is closed-off from the outside world, only giving its citizens government-issued propaganda. People like Saman Arbabi are trying to fight this, and we must help in any way we can.
With the recent popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James -- a book which focuses on the relationship between a recent college graduate, and a young businessman with a sexual penchant for BDSM -- people are asking themselves whether this is a topic that empowers the modern woman, or is a fantasy which promotes their degradation and exploitation. What do you think? See if either of our Huffpost combatants can change your mind!
The Conservative government, and the new CBC/Radio-Canada code of ethics violate the principles of independence, and impartiality that are so closely associated with the profession of journalism, and are a serious threat to the preservation of Canadian democracy, where freedom of the press is a fundamental value enshrined in our Constitution.
A former CBC colleague-turned-journalism professor very politely questions the ethics of my writing this column for HuffPost. Surely, he suggests delicately, the internet in general -- and aggregators like HuffPost in particular -- are killing traditional mainstream, general-interest journalism. And, in the process, seriously damaging democracy. My reply...?
Today kicks off Banned Books Week: the Huffington Post Canada and Indigo have teamed up to bring our readers' attention to books that have been banned or challenged, both in North America and around the world. Starting tomorrow, we will feature one noteworthy book per day that has come under fire, either by a government or a community. Should parents have the right to raise objections to what books their children are taught or are available in their school libraries? And should every book be exempt from challenge, no matter what its point of view or literary merit? These are important questions to consider and discuss this week. Whatever your opinion, remember that in Canada you are free to read a book, judge it on its merits, and discuss it openly.