Canada invites G7 ministers to meet to tackle misinformation


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dated: 2022-11-18 18:41:27 .

Photo: The Canadian Press

Marco Mendicino, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety, arrives at the G7 Home Affairs Ministers meeting in Eltville, Germany, Friday, November 18, 2022.

Canada plans to host a meeting of G7 officials next year to develop new programs and tools to counter the spread of disinformation.

Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino invited his colleagues to a meeting of G7 interior ministers in Germany this week.

According to Mendicino, participants began exploring ways they could work more closely together to combat propaganda and other forms of misinformation online by improving digital literacy and empowering citizens with the means to find reliable information.

“The G7 is the flagship of democracy and provides us with a forum where we can face these challenges together and create a world that is safer, more inclusive and more prosperous,” he said in an interview.

G7 nations developed a rapid response mechanism at the group’s 2018 summit in Charlevoix, Que. strengthen coordination to identify and respond to a number of new foreign threats to democracy.

The group, which includes a Canadian unit based in Global Affairs, focused on combating state-sponsored disinformation abroad.

A Canadian unit has uncovered what may have been an information operation by the Chinese Communist Party aimed at discouraging Canadians of Chinese descent from voting Conservative in the last federal election.

Mendicino said the rapid response mechanism came in handy after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, when Moscow notoriously claimed it was “denazifying” its neighbor.

“We used the rapid response mechanism to name and condemn it,” he said. “But the question now is how can we continue to use this mechanism, this protocol within the G7?”

Mendicino said democracies also need to work with social media companies and big tech companies to better understand how information is presented and to ensure “they adhere to the terms of their own user agreements as much as possible,” and he called that a long-standing challenge. .

Disinformation continues to spread online at a challenging rate across various social media platforms, posing a pervasive threat to business, academia, democratic institutions and the healthy exchange of ideas, he said.

A G7 forum on issues in Canada would be a vehicle to try to “flirt with the script and get ahead of the disinformation curve,” Mendicino said.

“This is where we think Canada and the G7 can lead.”


Canada invites G7 ministers to meet to tackle misinformation

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