The rise of disinformation and online hate is a threat not just to Jewish Canadians and other vulnerable communities but to all Canadians and to our democracy. Social media literacy is a vital tool for interacting safely with today’s internet.
There has already been some action by governments to start tackling online literacy, including Heritage Canada’s Digital Citizen Initiative, provincial governments’ participation in Media Literacy Week, and the Ontario government’s funding for classroom resources to educate youth about antisemitism on social media.
However, these projects are often limited in scope and funding. With online hate and disinformation spiraling out of control, improving Canadians’ social media literacy needs to be top priority for governments.
Create a national, social media literacy campaign to sensitize Canadians – especially the younger, more vulnerable demographics – about the appropriate use and abuse of social media.
Include in the campaign up-to-date information on combating disinformation and online hate.
Include in the campaign input from those most affected by online hate, including the Jewish community.
Ensure this campaign engages with provincial, territorial, and municipal governments to encourage broad buy-in and outreach.
Pair the campaign with legislation tackling online harms involving direct action by the social media platforms.