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CBC #TwitterFiles? The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation tried to get Twitter to censor critics (video)

This isn’t about an official ‘Twitter Files’ report, but it is very similar. Rebel News, a conservative-leaning, pro-free-expression news platform in Canada has obtained documents showing how the CBC used its money and cozy relationships with the Canadian government to try to force Twitter to censor its critics.

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You will recall that Elon Musk labelled the CBC as 69% government funded (heh)—so that would be public money that they were threatening to withhold.

Seriously, the report is only part of the show and is worth watching in its entirety:

The thread also posts many of the documents:

Indeed, Twitter Files veteran Matt Taibbi lent a helping hand:

The reactions were swift:

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Heh.

We aren’t surprised, either, but it is nice to have proof.

The Canadian Constitution says ‘Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication.’ That sounds good enough but, in practice, their conception of freedom of expression is pinched compared to America’s.

We concur.

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They mentioned about five blanked out pages. I wonder if Twitter has a copy of them on their hard drive?

Notice also, there are also the constant calls on Twitter to censor itself, because government regulation would be worse. This is a common tactic for imposing censorship when the government might not get away with doing it directly. For instance, the Motion Picture Association of America didn’t want to institute a ratings system for American movies, but explicitly cited the fear that the government would try to regulate them as the reason why they instituted one. The same can be said for the Entertainment Software Ratings Board or ESRB which rates video games and the Comics Code Authority which stifled creativity in comic books for years. The latter contained absolute prohibitions that lasted for decades which included rules like:

Crimes shall never be presented in such a way as to create sympathy for the criminal, to promote distrust of the forces of law and justice, or to inspire others with a desire to imitate criminals.

Policemen, judges, Government officials and respected institutions shall never be presented in such a way as to create disrespect for established authority.

Special precautions to avoid references to physical afflictions or deformities shall be taken.

Divorce shall not be treated humorously nor represented as desirable.

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One might feel that these different ratings boards and even the content restrictions slapped on comic books are a good idea, but they should never be adopted facing down the barrel of government regulation. They should be adopted freely, with at most social and economic pressure from parents, not the government.

Further, these tactics are insidious. One might say, for instance, “if you are a game company, why not just fight any regulations?” The answer is that it costs money to have that fight, so even assuming they would win, they would be out the costs associated with litigation—and that assumes they would win. The Supreme Court has not always been very supportive of free speech in modern forms of communication. So, yes, self-regulation might be better, except when we consider the damage done to freedom of expression.

It’s also an answer to the David Frenchs of the world who pretend all this social media censorship we have seen in the last few years is just private action. Very often it is actually the product of government pressure.

Finally, readers with long memories will remember the name Ezra Levant from his own struggles with Canadian censorship:

The CBC almost sounds disappointed.

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