VICE Canada has laid off 23 contract and permanent employees, amounting to about 10 per cent of its workforce. The move comes on the heels of Rogers pulling out of its $100-million joint-venture with the company that helped launch the Viceland TV channel and production studio. Viceland is set to go off the air on Mar. 31.
The CRTC has denied the efforts of a coalition of advocacy groups seeking a firmer stance on internet affordability. The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) Canada, the National Pensioners Federation, Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of BC, and the Consumers’ Association of Canada proposed that the regulator’s 2016 basic services decision be reviewed to include internet subsidies for low-income Canadians. The CRTC rejected ACORN’s argument that it erred in law by intervening in availability and accessibility, but not in affordability matters.
FairPlay Canada, a broad industry coalition including Rogers, Bell Media, Quebecor, CBC and Corus Entertainment, has filed an application with the CRTC proposing the commission establish an independent review agency to identify websites blatantly engaged in content theft. The agency would then make recommendations to the CRTC, which in turn would order internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to those sites. While piracy is illegal, FairPlay says it can’t be effectively combatted through the drawn out court process.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada says Canadians need better tools to help protect their online reputations. A new report highlights measures such as the right to ask search engines to de-index web pages that contain inaccurate, incomplete or outdated information; removal or amendment of information at the source; and education to help develop a more informed online public. The report also calls on Parliament to establish measures that would allow youth to request deletion of information they’ve posted to social media, or posted about them online by parents or guardians, when they reach the age of majority.
Hootsuite and creative agency We Are Social have released Digital in 2018, looking at social media and digital trends in 239 countries. The report finds the number of internet users has now surpassed the 4 billion mark globally, more than half the population. Global social media usage increased by 13 per cent in the last year, reaching 3.196 billion users, while mobile social media usage increased 14 per cent year over year to 2.958 billion.