Changes may be coming to the way that social media posts are regulated in Canada.
Over the last year, the federal government has paid special attention to the Canadian Broadcasting Act, which regulates telecommunications. In November, Bill C-10 was proposed. This bill aims to update the Canadian Broadcasting Act to cover materials that are broadcast over the internet, like media from streaming services.
Camille Gagné-Raynauld, a spokesperson for the Canadian Heritage Minister, said that the bill’s goal is to ensure that online streaming services contribute to the “creation, production and discoverability of Canadian content.”
She added that “the bill specifically targets professional series, films, and music. Ensuring that large broadcasters, online or not, contribute to our broadcasting system is a crucial element in asserting our cultural sovereignty in English, French and Indigenous language.”
How Bill C-10 Could Affect Your Social Media Posts – and Why Marketers Should Pay Attention
Previously, the bill did not include user-generated content – like YouTube videos of your dogs playing, or the Instagram clip of a soufflé you cooked.
However, on April 30, the clause stating that user-generated content was not relevant was removed. If it is not reconsidered, user-generated content will have to follow the same CRTC regulations as television programs.
“What it means is that somebody will be watching that, from the government, or a government regulator, and will be able to order it to be taken down if they find that it doesn’t suit whatever purposes they have.” Said Peter Menzies, former CRTC vice-chair.
Michael Geists, who holds the Canadian Research Chair in Internet and e-Commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, explained that “all user-generated content, all TikTok videos, Instagram uploads, YouTube videos and the like [could be] subject to CRTC regulation.”
Most notably, CRTC regulations say that a certain percentage of media on broadcasting channels like TV and radio must be Canadian-made.
If these rules were applied to social networking sites, the algorithms that determine their search results may shift Canadian content upwards. In other words, Canadian content creators would land higher in search results.
Brands and digital marketers should consider this possibility as Bill C-10 continues to be finalized. Since algorithms may change, content creators who hope to gain traction should consider whether their content will classify as Canadian-made.