Canada Declaration on Electoral Integrity Online

Social media and other online platforms play a meaningful role in promoting a healthy and resilient democracy. They provide a forum for sharing ideas, encouraging innovation, enabling Canadians to engage in dialogue about important issues and facilitating economic opportunity and civic engagement. However, these platforms have also been used to spread disinformation in an attempt to undermine free and fair elections and core democratic institutions and aggravate existing societal tensions.

Social media and other online platforms and the Government of Canada recognize their respective responsibilities to help safeguard this fall’s election and to support healthy political discourse, open public debate and the importance of working together to address these challenges head-on.

To this end, we commit to working together in the lead-up to the October 2019 federal election to ensure integrity, transparency and authenticity, subject to Canadian laws and consistent with other legal obligations.

Integrity

Platforms will:

  1. Intensify efforts to combat disinformation to promote transparency and understanding and inform Canadians about efforts to safeguard the Internet ecosystem.
  2. Apply their latest advancements and most effective tools from around the world for the protection of democratic processes and institutions in Canada, as appropriate.
  3. Promote safeguards that effectively help address cybersecurity incidents and promote cybersecurity, protect against misrepresentation of candidates, parties and other key electoral officials and ensure privacy protection.

The Government of Canada will:

  1. Ensure that the platforms have clear Government of Canada points-of-contact for election-related matters for both the pre-election and election periods.

Transparency

Platforms will:

  1. Ensure transparency for regulated political advertising, including helping users understand when and why they are seeing political advertising.
  2. Ensure their terms and conditions are easily accessible, communicated in a manner that is easy to understand, and enforced in a fair, consistent and transparent manner.

The Government of Canada will:

  1. Implement the Critical Election Incident Public Protocol to ensure public communications on cyber incidents are clear and impartial.
  2. Promote, where possible, lawful information sharing that may assist in detection, identification, or enforcement against malicious actors using the platforms’ products and services.

Authenticity

Platforms will:

  1. Work to remove fake accounts and inauthentic content on their platforms.
  2. Work to assist users to better understand the sources of information they are seeing and block and remove malicious bots.

Platforms and the Government of Canada will:

  1. Work with civil society, educational institutions and/or other institutions to support efforts aimed at improving critical thinking, digital literacy and cybersecurity practices to promote digital resilience across society.
  2. Facilitate the sharing of information on emerging developments and practices that could help protect Canadian democracy within relevant legal mandates.
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