Attempts to regulate online hate in Canada

Though free speech is generally protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, hate speech is outlawed by the Canadian legislation like the Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act, among others. Sections 318 through 320 of the Canadian Criminal Code criminalize hate speech and have been upheld as constitutional by the country’s Supreme Court. The Canadian Human Rights Act is a civil measure that targets hate speech. However, it may be difficult to use these laws to prosecute many of the hate web sites themselves due to jurisdictional issues, because these sites can, and do, find homes in the United States, where they are protected by the First Amendment. This article provides an overview of Canadian laws applicable to hate speech, including online hate speech.

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