Facebook. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Most Canadians would trade free social media for privacy, government action: survey

Majority of those asked thing social media is overall a positive

The vast majority of Canadians would give up free social media in exchange for more privacy and government action, a Simon Fraser University survey suggests.

The report, released Wednesday by SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, said 90 per cent of respondents would prefer their personal data be protected, rather than receiving free services.

Sixty-four per cent wanted fact checkers for online information, rather than figuring out what’s true or false themselves.

About 70 per cent said they’re worried about interference by politicians or foreign agents as the country gears up for this fall’s federal election.

Just under half of think the federal government should regulate social media platforms, while about one-quarter want them to self-regulate and 14 per cent don’t want any regulation.

“Given that we are so quick to click terms and conditions that trade away our privacy, we were surprised to learn that Canadians overwhelmingly value their personal privacy more than receiving free online services,” said the centre’s executive director Shaunna Sylvester.

When it came to hateful speech online, about 60 per cent of those surveyed supported stopping people saying harmful things and removing such content. But about 40 per cent said people should be able to say what they want and readers can decide if they want to look at it.

“There is certainly a desire to find ways to deal with harmful or hateful content that can poison civil discourse, but Canadians also support free speech,” Sylvester said. “We need to have a serious conversation in this country to navigate the tradeoffs between these deeply held values.”

Despite those conflicting views, 61 per cent of respondents said social media helps them have a voice in political discussions.

READ MORE: Voters likely to support populist leaders, Canada-first approach, survey suggests

READ MORE: Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

READ MORE: ‘Tips on steroids:’ Social media both a help, hurdle for Canadian police investigations


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Community of Vavenby weekly news update

Vavenby Elementary School has two teachers this year as the number of students has increased

Teamster Brad Cameron steps back in the arena

Cameron gets win in the Novice Wagon Competition

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

Alt-right crackpot hunting

Editor, The Times:

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Free Tesla 3 offered with purchase of Surrey townhome

Century Group’s offer for Viridian development runs through Oct. 31

B.C. communities urged to improve access for disabled people

One in four B.C. residents has disability, most want to work

Most Read