New Law Sees Trudeau’s Government Accused of Going Full ‘Orwellian’

( – Politicians around the world have criticized social media platforms for allowing hateful rhetoric, fake news, and even videos of vicious crimes to spread across the internet. A bill in Canada would take that criticism to a new level — and it’s being called “Orwellian.”

In February, Canada unveiled legislation, called the Online Harms Act (Bill C-63), and claimed it would combat online hate and require social media companies to remove harmful content. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government said the legislation would protect kids from predators online.

The bill would require social media companies to remove all content that incites genocide, sexually victimizes kids, and any intimate content that communicates with kids without their consent.

The legislation would also allow a judge to imprison someone for life if a court convicts them of inciting genocide. The bill would also allow a judge to put someone under house rest and fine them if there are reasonable grounds to believe they might commit an offense.

Margaret Atwood, the author of “The Handmaid’s Tail,” wrote a post on X, formerly Twitter, saying that if the accounts of what’s in the bill are true, “The possibilities for revenge false accusations [and] thoughtcrime stuff are sooo inviting!” She called it the prime minister’s “Orwellian” bill.

Atwood’s remark was in reference to George Orwell’s “1984” dystopian novel. In the book, the author wrote about a government that watches its citizens’ every move. “Big Brother,” the government, controls every part of people’s lives and has tried to eliminate opposing political views. The government even implemented “Thoughtcrimes” to prohibit thinking rebellious thoughts.

Canadian Minister of Justice Arif Virani responded to the author and told her the legislation would “keep kids safe [by] apply[ing] existing laws to the online world and address the rise in hate.” He invited her to reach out to discuss the law and provided her with a link to an in-depth breakdown of the bill.

The law has not passed yet.

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