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Joint Sponsor

The ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice is proud to partner with the CBA Constitutional and Human Rights Law Section to present this three-part webinar series.

Confronting Hate Speech: A Canada-U.S. Dialogue | ON-DEMAND

Canada and the United States have long wrestled with the volatile and divisive question of how to handle hate speech and hate crimes. The problem has come into sharp focus with recent incidents of violence and hate speech against Asian Americans and Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Black Lives Matter protests over police conduct in both countries add to the focus, as do allegations that political leaders and media personalities in both countries during elections have incited hatred against racial and religious minorities. These events have fueled the public debate on the limits of freedom of expression regarding hate speech in both countries. This panel considers these important and timely questions during this CBA-ABA joint forum.

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Social Media: Challenges and Opportunities in Free Speech | ON-DEMAND

Freedom of speech is protected in both the United States and Canada. However, the growing role of social media in public discourse is challenging traditional views of legal protections and reshaping the landscape of free speech in both countries. The second webinar of this three-part series will explore these changes. Among questions to be considered are: have the US elections and the COVID-19 pandemic challenged the idea of social media as venues for unfettered expression?; should social media platforms be arbiters of truth and morality?; does public pressure influence social media regulation of content?; is social media reshaping societal norms in relation to free expression?; should candidates for public office and officeholders be subject to different rules of engagement?

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Disinformation: The Challenges to Democracy | ON-DEMAND

As long as politics and elections have existed, there have always been false claims and exaggerations by leaders, candidates, their backers and even commentators. But the explosion of Internet access and social media usage in recent years has turned aberrational misinformation into a global epidemic of disinformation. On the one hand, millions more people have access to information than ever before; on the other hand, it is a constant challenge to differentiate among sources that deal in verifiable fact and those that disseminate, irrespective of source or veracity. What should we do about this situation? Is the widespread access to information an opportunity for democracy, or is the spread of disinformation a threat to democracy? Our panelists will address this challenging issue from Canadian and US perspectives.

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Upcoming Programs

In order to serve and provide resources to our Section members, the greater ABA, and the general public, the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice presents a variety of webinars highlighting critical legal issues of civil liberties, human rights, and social justice.