Thank you so much.
I actually testified before the international grand committee and was there to hear those hearings, so I'm very much in tune with that. One part of the puzzle is that international coordination, of which Canada is a key part as a co-chair. That committee has done a really good job of bringing together MPs from 14 different countries that represent over 400 million people, and still Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg did not appear.
Let me say four brief things. The first is that in the German case it was a big fine that really enabled the social media companies to come to the table and start enforcing German law. Beforehand they said that they couldn't comply, but when big fines were on the table, all of a sudden they actually could.
The second part of this is that to handle the volume, they're simply going to need more content moderators. While some things are picked up by artificial intelligence, the reality is that most of this is done by humans. Just as a sidebar to flag, given the pretty awful labour conditions under which these people operate, which we in Canada should be concerned about from a human rights perspective—this is very psychologically burdensome work, and we have some evidence from journalists and others about how difficult this work is and how much PTSD the content moderators experience—the companies are going to have to pony up a lot more money to work with that.
The third element of this is that we need to find out where the content moderators who work on Canada are located. We don't even know that kind of basic information. My guess is that none of them are in Canada. They don't have any contextual knowledge about Canada, for example, about what is language that denigrates indigenous people or other marginalized groups in the Canadian context. That's another pretty simple thing on which we could ask for clarification. We can try to provide more context.
The fourth part of this then is the question of transparency and figuring out what we as Canadians need to know and whether that is under audit. I suggest that there are also very, very basic questions about how much of the hate speech we see in transparency reports and through social media companies is happening in Canada. The part of the German law that everybody, including Article 19 and other free speech organizations, praises is the transparency report that the NetzDG law mandates. That's something that everybody agrees on, regardless of where they are on the political spectrum. I think that's certainly something Canada can take away, and I can provide very specific suggestions on what we could look for from those transparency reports. It would be much more meaningful than is what is in the NetzDG ones or in the broad global ones the companies release.