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Disinformation exists in local election campaigns, but it doesn’t play a major factor, experts say.

Elections can involve fewer people and provide less fuel to social media anger stories, as Doug Ford’s progressive conservative parties enjoy comfortable voting leads.

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William Lyon Mackenzie King’s Liberal Party saw the most seats in Congress on September 16, 1926, two days after the controversial federal elections.

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The results were just interpreted in national newspapers at that time, and Ottawa Citizen then advertised itself as an “independent, clean newspaper for the home,” comments marked an election negative campaign and lies. Seemed to look down on me.

The comment, entitled “I’m sick of muddy,” rebuked politicians for “the stupidest tricks” to ridicule the scandal. “If politicians just understood it, they would fill the electorate with disgust with these muddy tactics. The impact on the average voter is sadly his confidence in government integrity. It means that it is damaged. “

But muddy, as it was called at the time (according to Newspapers.com data, the use of this term peaked in the 1950s and is becoming more and more rare) is a favorite of politicians and their supporters. Continued to be a tactic of.

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Nowadays, trying to undermine a rival’s reputation by making unjust or inaccurate claims is often referred to as “disinformation,” which is not a new phenomenon, but a chaotic landscape of information on social media. Its presence in is related to some professionals. Voters say they need to prevent misunderstandings and lies from spreading online, especially given the ongoing Ontario election campaign.

Take Chandra Pasma as an example. The NDP candidate running for the Ottawa West Nepean seat had to fight the misleading information that was spreading online about her.

Pasma was featured in a meme (an image with a portion of the text) and took one of her tweets out of context. “This is Chandra Pasma,” reads Meme. “She considers having her job to be” dehumanized. ” “

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The meme version was created in 2018 and was primarily distributed by Ontario Proud, an online source of right-wing virus content. Pasma was run again in this election, and Ontario Proud posted a meme again on May 14th based on her tweet. So far, more than 130 people have shared and collected hundreds of comments.

Memes did not convey the honest picture of Pasma and her ideals. Pasma’s tweet, which was the source of the Ontario Proud post, had a much more subtle nuance than what was depicted in the meme.

“It’s a shame to see people distort the words of others and disseminate false information,” Pasma said in a statement. “Groups like Ontario Proud have spread false information, lies and horrors in favor of the Conservatives. It’s sickening politics and it must be stopped.”

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Ontario Proud did not respond to requests for comment by the deadline.

However, such memes are commonly distributed on social media, especially during campaigns. These memes, even if they are based on true information, lack context and are often used to distort and depict political enemies negatively.

“Politics is very complex,” said Serge Brace, managing director of the Institute for Professional Development at the University of Ottawa, who announced that he will host the Institute for Information Integrity, a research group that investigates disinformation. ..

“It’s not justice to put positions together in one liner, photos, and memes,” Brace continued. “There are layers that need to be investigated, but of course not everyone spends two hours digging deep in the morning to do the research, which creates good journalism.”

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However, good journalism is not always popular on social media, which often rewards the most engaging and provocative content.

“Social media has expanded the spread of disinformation to an unprecedented scale,” he said. “Social media, what it’s doing right now is like a whirlpool — the influence of a tornado — lies are put out there, unedited, unconfirmed, 1000 times a day Repeated. After repeating a lie 1000 times, people start believing it.

“People who promote disinformation now have a very powerful tool, and it costs virtually nothing to create repetitions or create anger.”

But disinformation under different names was probably always part of politics.

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“In many ways, this has always been a part of political life,” said Scott Edward Bennett, an associate professor of political science at Carleton University, in an email. Bennett added that social media boosted “suspicious information” and made it easier to artificially boost the momentum of certain messages by using “pseudo-participants,” commonly known as “bots.” rice field.

But Bennett said the public was skeptical of attempts to gain momentum for certain messages and information in the wake of the US elections, where disinformation was highlighted.

Both Bryce and Bennett agree that the spread of disinformation does not appear to have had a significant impact on Ontario’s elections — so far.

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Elections can involve fewer people and provide less fuel to social media anger stories, as Doug Ford’s progressive conservative parties enjoy comfortable voting leads. According to a recent poll, Bennett said there was a more compelling election clash between the NDP and the Liberal Party.

“We see a lot of social media and other media content that aims to be second,” Bennett said. “A lot of people read this material and react to it? Probably not. It’s hard to find good data on this, but even people who usually follow politics are a little indifferent to this election. think.”

But Brace warned. Disinformation may not appear to affect the broader range of voters this time around, and Canadian society may not appear to be as divided by partisan stories as the United States. ..

“Don’t be too naive or too self-satisfied,” he said. “We need to be vigilant. We need to be aware that this is just below the surface and be aware of what is there. Good disinformation is very insidious and we are familiar with it. It’s not like being covered in mud. “

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Disinformation exists in local election campaigns, but it doesn’t play a major factor, experts say.

Source link Disinformation exists in local election campaigns, but it doesn’t play a major factor, experts say.

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