- Toronto construction worker Wu Jian has lost a defamation lawsuit for using WeChat to spread what a judge called malicious falsehoods about a community leader
- The ruling suggests Canada’s courts will punish people who use WeChat to spread lies, even if the number of readers is unknown, a tech lawyer says
A court ruling in Canada could put the brakes on the political discourse freewheeling WeChat in the country, with a construction worker Toronto ordered to pay more than C $ 50,000 (the US $ 38,000) after spreading what the judge called a lying evil about a leader of the local community in China social media platforms.
The recent ruling shows that Canadian courts will punish WeChat users for posting defamatory, even if the reader is unknown, says a corporate lawyer and technologies that have previously been warned that the platform has become “filled with users who hide behind their aliases and rumors post, false stories “.
WeChat has become a hotbed of political activism in Canada which sometimes deviated from local norms.
Last January, the federal Liberal candidate Karen Wang used WeChat to urge supporters in Burnaby, British Columbia, to vote for him because his opponent, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, is “Indian origin”. He quickly disposed of by the party.
In October 2018, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) began an investigation into the message WeChat was offered C $ 20 (the US $15) “transport costs” for voters town in Richmond, BC, by a group that supports a slate, inclined conservative candidates. They then deny a message and no charge is generated.
But the scathing summary ruling issued by Ontario Supreme Court Justice Penny J. Jones on December 9 is putting WeChat’s Canadian political arena under new scrutiny.
Jones ordered self-employed contractor Wu Jian to pay Simon Zhong Xinsheng C$35,000 (US$26,400) in damages and full costs of C$15,414.90 (the US $11,600) for a series of comments in a WeChat political discussion group.
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