A dangerous road for the government to go down.
Under the pretext of fears about ‘Russian interference,’ Elections Canada is seeking a social media ‘listening’ tool to use in the next election.
According to a report, the government wants the tool to ‘listen’ and ‘analyze’ trends on Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook:
“In a notice of proposed procurement posted on Tuesday morning, the elections agency writes that it needs the new tool to be able to “listen, in near real time, to key influencers to identify potential issues that may affect the election early on,” as well as to “detect, through timely and accurate notifications, potential incidents and trends affecting the integrity of Canadian electoral events in near real time.” The system must also be able to identify and help connect geo-located incidents and monitor specific hashtags, keywords, handles and accounts.”
It’s incredibly disturbing, and it smacks of ‘Big Brother.’
Think of how easily such a system could be abused by the Trudeau PMO. If it’s listening to influencers and tracking key trends, then that info could be used to readjust Liberal campaign strategy, messaging, and be used for attacks against their opponents.
Also, Trudeau could use the system to falsely claim that people criticizing Trudeau are ‘Russian bots,’ using dishonesty and fear-mongering in an attempt to discredit legitimate critics of the government.
Giving that kind of power to the Trudeau government should be very disturbing to all Canadians, and regardless of whatever pretext the Trudeau government gives for the ‘tool,’ it’s a power they shouldn’t be given.
Photo – Twitter @Justin Trudno