Is Facebook a threat to democracy?

A conversation about rights in the digital age

November 9, 2021, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m (CDT)

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Event details

Online platforms like Facebook, which collect and share huge amounts of information, are being accused of putting profit above democracy and the public good.

Online program – Zoom

Video: Facebook : une menace pour la démocratie? Une conversation sur les droits à l’ère numérique

Can government regulation protect us and our children from online harm and misinformation – or is Big Tech ungovernable? How can Canadians balance privacy rights and freedom of expression on social media?

Join Taylor Owen, one of Canada’s leading experts on digital media ethics, in conversation with The Walrus editor‐in‐chief Jessica Johnson for the third annual Simces & Rabkin Family Dialogue on Human Rights. 

The program will be held online via Zoom. It will include an audience Q&A session.

About the participants

Taylor Owen is the Beaverbrook Chair in Media, Ethics and Communications, founding director of the Centre for Media, Technology and Democracy, and an associate professor at McGill University’s Max Bell School of Public Policy. He is a regular tech commentator for The Globe and Mail and hosts the Big Tech podcast for the Centre of International Governance, where he is also a Senior Fellow. His work focusses on the intersection of media, technology and public policy.

Owen is also the author of Disruptive Power: The Crisis of the State in the Digital Age and co‐editor of The World Won’t Wait: Why Canada Needs to Rethink its Foreign Policies and Journalism After Snowden: The Future of the Free Press in the Surveillance State.

Jessica Johnson is editor‐in‐chief of The Walrus, a Canadian magazine committed to the idea that a healthy society relies on informed citizens. A former editor at The Globe and Mail and The National Post, Johnson is an award‐winning journalist who has contributed essays, features and criticism to a wide range of North American publications. She was also co‐creator, with Maclean’s magazine journalist Anne Kingston, of “#MeToo and the Media,” an inaugural course in the University of Toronto’s Book and Media Studies program.

About the event partners

The Museum is proud to partner with Zena Simces and Dr. Simon Rabkin for the third annual Simces & Rabkin Family Dialogue on Human Rights.

Zena Simces has had a keen interest in human rights for many years. She has been involved in organizing a lecture on human rights with the Atlantic Human Rights Centre in Fredericton, New Brunswick for more than 30 years. She has also dedicated many years to addressing issues of hatred and prejudice as a leader with Canadian Jewish Congress in British Columbia and with the National Committee. Her professional career as a consultant in the health, social policy and education areas has included advocating and enhancing the rights of minority groups.

Dr. Simon Rabkin devoted some of his early career to providing health care to underserviced areas in Northern Canada and in Kenya. His experiences there and subsequently caring for disadvantaged individuals fostered his commitment to human rights. In various committees, in the private and public sectors, he has advanced the cause of human rights as well as issues of equity and diversity.

This program is subject to change or cancellation without notice.