Disinformation is killing democracy and destroying our shrinking opportunity to combat climate change.

As a reader, you matter today as you never have before, and here’s why.

Advertising income, which traditionally provided the lion’s share of support for journalism, has evaporated, to devastating effect. In recent years, Torstar and Postmedia have been forced to cut over $600 million in annual payroll expenses. Just recently, Bell Media slashed 1,300 jobs and closed six radio stations. Those cuts will continue.

By far, the biggest threat to an informed electorate in a modern democracy is the predatory conduct of Google and Facebook. These two companies are decimating citizen access to local, regional and national news through the combination of addictive algorithms, AI, and the abuse of monopoly powers.

They’ve done this in Canada, as they have around the world, because it is astonishingly profitable. Google and Facebook made $400 billion in 2022 alone, and their revenues are rising.

According to the Canadian Media Concentration Research Project, these two companies extracted a combined $10 billion in advertising revenues out of the Canadian economy in 2021.

Due to international tax treaties, they are not taxed in Canada on that income. But here is the big takeaway: Misinformation and disinformation are better for Facebook and Google’s business models than the truth. Study after study confirms that lies on social media travel further, faster and to more lasting effect than accurate reporting. And we now face a significant segment of the public that is openly hostile to accuracy in news reporting.

The best weapon we have to combat misinformation on social media is subscriber-funded news reporting.

Please donate to Canada’s National Observer's year-end fundraising campaign to raise $125,000 by December 31st today.


Sandy Garossino

Keep reading

Given the recent Federal legislation and the deal with Google, this article badly needs an update.

Missing Sandy's columns! Looking forward to the result of her investigations about Canada-China relations, promised for Jan 2024.