Policy Papers

Heidi has written extensively on policy issues such as policy communications, digital platform regulation, and the impact of disinformation. Her policy briefs and reports have been featured on numerous publications and have made their way to the offices of government officials across the world. 

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2021 • 2020 • 2019 • 2018 • 2017 and before

Major Policy Papers

December 14, 2020 • Centre for Media, Technology, and Democracy

Co-authored with Chris Tenove, this report analyzes how digital media has impacted the state of Canadian democracy, and provides alternatives on how policymakers can strengthen democracy and make digital media safer.

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2021

“Whose Democracy Counts When Global Social Media Rules Are Set?” Centre for International Governance Innovation (June 18, 2021).

 

“What Can Canadian Law Makers Draw from the new UK Online Safety Bill?” (with Suzie Dunn and Will Perrin), Centre for International Governance Innovation (May 20, 2021).

“Taiwan's Covid-19 and Pandemic Experience: What Are the Lessons for Canada?” Canadian Global Affairs Institute/Institut Canadien des Affairs Mondiales (April 13, 2021).

“Does Deplatforming Trump Set a New Precedent for Content Moderation?” (with Jameel Jaffer et al.), Centre for International Governance Innovation (January 18, 2021).

“The Dangerous Inconsistencies of Digital Platform Policies,” Centre for International Governance Innovation (January 13, 2021).


“Beyond Briefings: How Canadian Officials Can Communicate More Effectively during the Covid-19 Endgame,” (co-written with Ian Beacock), First Policy Response (January 13, 2021).

 

October 15, 2020 •  Centre for International Governance Innovation

This article argues that public health approaches to content moderation and messaging on digital platform could help fight the ongoing misinformation related to pandemic communications. This type of messaging focuses on the well-being of people while limiting any indirect harm they would cause. Additionally, actors who who lead communications strategies will also be held accountable for their messaging. 

February 24, 2020 •  Centre for International Governance Innovation

This article argues that policymakers and regulators must be careful when making comparisons between current tech giants and powerful corporations. When new regulations are made to provide limit on the influence of tech giants, decision-makers must be careful that they do not end up becoming weaponized by the very actors they are trying to check. 

2020

“Social Media Councils and e-Courts in Canada: Research Memo,” Canadian Commission on Democratic Expression (December 2020), 5 pp.

“Processes, People, and Public Accountability: How to Understand and Address Harmful Communication Online,” (co-written with Chris Tenove), Canadian Commission on Democratic Expression (December 14, 2020), 33 pp.

 

“The Promise and Peril of Anti-Pandemic Technology,” TechStream, Brookings Institution (December 10, 2020).

“When Democracy Meets Efficiency: How Communications Can End the Pandemic,” Institut Montaigne (November 5, 2020). French translation.

 

“Is News Property? How Digital Platforms are Resurrecting a Centuries-Old Question,” Centre for International Governance Innovation (October 30, 2020).

 

“Trolled on the Campaign Trail: Online Incivility and Abuse in Canadian Politics,” (co-written with Chris Tenove), Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions, UBC (October 29, 2020). Media coverage in CBC, CBC Radio Canada, Globe & Mail, iPolitics, New Canadian MediaThe Tyee, Yahoo News. Appearances on CBC.

 

“How a Public Health Approach Could Help to Curb the Infodemic,” Centre for International Governance Innovation (October 15, 2020).

 

“Lessons Learned from Taiwan and South Korea’s Tech-Enabled Covid Communications,” TechStream, Brookings Institution (October 6, 2020).

 

“Should Big Tech be Setting the Terms of Political Speech?” (with Samantha Bradshaw et al.) Centre for International Governance Innovation (October 5, 2020).


“Covid-19 Has Democratic Lessons to Teach. Has Angela Merkel Helped Germany to Learn Them?” (with Ian Beacock and Sudha David-Wilp), Transatlantic Take, German Marshall Fund of the United States (October 2, 2020).

“Democratic Health Communications during Covid-19: A Rapid Response,” (co-written with Ian Beacock and Eseohe Ojo), Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions, University of British Columbia (September 15, 2020), 112 pp. Featured in New York Times, Financial Times Alphaville, Abbotsford News, CBC, CNN, Vice, Georgia Straight, Globe and Mail, Macleans, Salt Lake Tribune, Saskatoon Star Phoenix, STAT news podcast, Vancouver Sun, WebMD. Multiple appearances on CBC, CJOB, CKNW, Global News BC, TVO.

“Why Doesn’t TikTok Get Policy Makers’ Attention?” Centre for International Governance Innovation (June 25, 2020).

 

Co-lead (with Peter Pomerantsev), Final Report Drafting Team, “Freedom and Accountability: A Transatlantic Framework for Moderating Speech Online. Final Report of the Transatlantic High-Level Working Group on Content Moderation Online and Freedom of Expression,” Transatlantic Working Group (June 2020).


“Paris Call Community for Countering Election Interference: What Democracies Can Learn from the Government of Canada,” (co-written with David Salvo), Alliance for Securing Democracy, German Marshall Fund of the United States (May 26, 2020).
 

“Should There Be a Public Health Exemption for Section 230?” TechStream, Brookings Institution (May 18, 2020).

“Platforms Adapted Quickly during the Pandemic – Can They Keep It Up?” Centre for International Governance Innovation (May 14, 2020). Translated into French for Institut Montaigne (June 9, 2020).

 

“Why the U.S. Needs a Pandemic Communications Unit,” TechStream, Brookings Institution (April 29, 2020).

 

“How to Use Communications as a Medical Intervention,” German Marshall Fund of the United States (April 1, 2020).

 

“A New Blueprint for Platform Governance,” Centre for International Governance Innovation (February 24, 2020).

 

“Dispute Resolution and Content Moderation: Fair, Accountable, Independent, Transparent, and Effective,” (lead author, co-authored with Ronan Ó Fathaigh, Lisanne Bruggemann, and Chris Tenove), Transatlantic Working Group on Content Moderation Online and Freedom of Expression, Annenberg Public Policy Center at University of Pennsylvania (January 14, 2020), 34 pp.

 

April 15, 2019 • Transatlantic Working Group

Co-authored with Paddy Leerson, this report analyzes Germany's NetzDG law designed to prevent hate speech online. The report explores various facets of NetzDG, including the relationship between decision-makers in government and tech giants, implications for free speech, as well as data on the law's effectiveness.

2019

“How Transparency Reporting Could Incentivize Irresponsible Content Moderation,” Centre for International Governance Innovation (December 10, 2019).

 

“How Platforms Could Benefit from the Precautionary Principle,” Centre for International Governance Innovation (November 19, 2019).

 

“What Does Twitter's Ban on Political Ads Mean for Platform Governance?” (with Joan Donovan et al.), Centre for International Governance Innovation (November 5, 2019).


“Social Media Councils,” CIGI Series on Platform Governance, Centre for International Governance Innovation (October 2019).


“Disinformation and Democracy in Historical Perspective,” NATO Association of Canada/Association Canadienne pour L’OTAN (Fall 2019), pp. 15-18.

 

“Social Media Platforms and the Upside of Ignorance,” Centre for International Governance Innovation (September 2019).

 

“Looking to History for Lessons on Platform Governance,” Centre for International Governance Innovation (July 2019).

 

“Without Improved Transparency, Platform Regulation Is a Pipe Dream,” Centre for International Governance Innovation (July 2019).

“Internet Governance Can’t Be Divorced from Infrastructure Governance,” Centre for International Governance Innovation (July 2019). French translation by Institut Montaigne (December 2019). 

"An Analysis of Germany's NetzDG Law," (co-authored with Paddy Leerssen), Transatlantic High-Level Working Group on Content Moderation Online and Freedom of Expression (April 2019).​

“The Next North American Election: How Canada is Protecting Itself and What Can Still be Done,” (co-authored with David Salvo), Alliance for Securing Democracy, German Marshall Fund of the United States (March 2019).


“How a Standards Council Could Help Curb Harmful Online Content,” (co-authored with Fenwick McKelvey and Chris Tenove), Policy Options (February 2019).

 

2018

“Poisoning Democracy: How Canada Can Address Harmful Speech Online” (co-authored with Chris Tenove and Fenwick McKelvey), Public Policy Forum (November 2018), 34 pp.

“What the History of Radio Tells Us about Technology and Democracy,” Chatham House (October 2018).

 

“Communications and the Integrity of Elections,” The Global Exchange (September 2018).

 

“How History Helps Us to Uncover the Real Successes of Middle Power Internationalism,” Centre for International Policy Studies, University of Ottawa (July 2018).

 

“Responsible Reporting in an Age of Irresponsible Information,” Alliance for Securing Democracy, German Marshall Fund of the United States (March 2018), 10 pp.

 

Political Communications in the ‘Fake News’ Era: Six Lessons for Europe

February 13, 2017 • Transatlantic Academy

This policy brief examines the impact of fake news within the Transatlantic sphere. By invoking similar previous political events in contemporary history, the brief also provides recommendations on how governments can provide better communications while also preventing the further spread of fake news.

Before 2017

“Suspicious Minds: U.S.-German Relations in the Trump Era,” (co-authored with Frédéric Bozo et al.) Transatlantic Academy (May 2017), 34 pp.

„Gemeinsam mit den Guten. Wie ein EU-Handelsabkommen mit Kanada zum Wertepaket wurde,“ Internationale Politik (May/June 2017): 53-57.

 

„Kommunikation in der Ära von Fake News,“ Zukunftsinstitut Politics; PR 4.0 (April 2017).

 

“Why Germany Might Take a Maple Leaf out of Canada’s Book,” Transatlantic Academy (March 10, 2017).

 

“Approaching Trump,” (with Sir Michael Leigh, Stefan Fröhlich, and Joshua Walker), German Marshall Fund (March 8, 2017).

 

“Political Communications in the ‘Fake News’ Era: Six Lessons for Europe,” Transatlantic Academy Policy Brief (February 13, 2017).

 

“The European Union Clashes with Google over Copyright,” German Marshall Fund Transatlantic Take (October 11, 2016).