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Canada

CRTC chair says online streaming bill won’t police user-generated content, algorithms

OTTAWA — The chair of Canada’s broadcasting regulator says a controversial online streaming bill will not result in the policing of user-generated content or the mandating of specific algorithms on platforms. 

Ian Scott told a Senate committee studying the bill this evening that his previous comments about a controversial online streaming bill were taken out of context. 

Scott had previously suggested that the CRTC could require platforms such as YouTube, TikTok or Spotify to “manipulate” their algorithms to produce certain results, which the companies raised as a serious concern in their testimony. 

He now qualifies those remarks by saying that the bill does not allow the CRTC to mandate specific algorithms or source codes, and an algorithm is just one tool towards the bill’s overall goals.

Scott says the bill only requires the regulator to make sure that Canadians are made aware of Canadian content, and this could be achieved in other ways, such as external ads, curated lists or promotional reels. 

Scott also says the CRTC has no intention of regulating individual TikTokers, YouTubers or other digital content creators.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 16, 2022.

The Canadian Press