Issue at a Glance
Online brand safety entails protecting a brand’s image and reputation from the negative influence of inappropriate and potentially harmful content when advertising online.
Brand safety has been a growing concern in recent years as a result of a rise in “fake news”, the surge of extremist voices on websites and on social media, growth in bot traffic, and concerns about the influence of online content on democracy and elections.
Many brands have adjusted their advertising strategies and budgets, and pulled ads, in response to their ads being placed next to undesirable content.
Hate and Misinformation
Hate speech and misinformation became a significant issue in Canadian public discourse following increased awareness of hatred and injustice towards BIPOC communities following Black Lives Matter protests in 2020. The CMA made a public statement about the need to stand together against hate, expressed support for brands who use their influence to affect positive social change, and spoke with major platforms on the issue.
The federal government is expected to release a bill to create a new federal regulator to oversee how online platforms deal with content that could be described as hate speech and misinformation, including through strong and transparent policies for moderating content. The new regulator is expected to have order and fine-making powers.
The CMA will update this webpage as details are announced.