Online Content Regulation

March 13, 2024

Recent legislation has come to light intending to regulate online content. From March 8 to March 10, 2024, we surveyed Canadians to find out their opinions and perceptions on the new government plan for online regulation. 

Some of the key highlights of our survey about online regulation include…

  • Two-thirds of Canadians (68%) support the government’s plan to regulate content on social media to make these platforms safer, compared to one-quarter (25%) who are against it and 8% undecided. Quebecers (78%), respondents aged 55 and older (78%), and women (72%) are more likely to support the government’s plan.
  • Nearly six in ten Canadians (57%) support the creation and associated spending on new government agencies created to regulate online content, compared to one-quarter (26%) who oppose it.
  • Half of Canadians (50%) do not trust the government to regulate online content in a way that protects freedom of speech, compared to 43% who trust the government to achieve this
  • The Conservative Party of Pierre Poilievre (20%) is the party Canadians would trust most to regulate online content, followed by the Liberal Party (17%) and the NDP (13%).
  • Three-quarters of Canadians (72%) support the government’s plan to implement stricter sentences for hate crimes, including life imprisonment for advocating genocide. Quebecers (78%) and respondents aged 55 (81%) are more likely to support tougher sentences.
  • 71% of Canadians agree with allowing individuals to file complaints about online hate speech to the Canadian Human Rights Commission, compared to 16% who disagree. Men (21%) and Canadians aged 18 to 34 (20%) are more likely to disagree.
  • Less than half of Canadians (41%) believe the government’s plan will make social media platforms safer and remove sensitive images and content easier. Nearly one-third (32%) of Canadians believe the opposite. This proportion is higher among Albertans (43%) and men (40%).

Methodology

This web survey was conducted from March 8 to 10, 2024, with 1,527 Canadians aged 18 or older, randomly recruited from LEO’s online panel. A margin of error cannot be associated with a non-probability sample in a panel survey. For comparison, a probability sample of 1,527 respondents would have a margin of error of ±2.51 %, 19 times out of 20.

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