The self-designated police of fake news for the 2019 federal election mysteriously missed a major example of mis-/disinformation that occurred that spread like wildfire on Twitter this week.
Mainstream media outlets BuzzFeed, CBC, National Observer and Toronto Star have all put reporters on the beat of monitoring disinformation online for this federal election.
Some of these journalists thought it was important to report on the organic Twitter hashtag #TrudeauMustGo, one describing it as “a new wave of disinformation.” In reality it was overwhelmingly real accounts, not Russian bots, that were calling for the ousting of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this October. (Fake bot accounts always glom onto top trending hashtags on Twitter, which #TrudeauMustGo was.)
These journalists also like to suggest Russia will massively interfere in the Canadian election while largely ignoring the far greater threat of a far more influential China actually exerting its far bigger influence on this country.
Journalists of the mainstream media largely ignore the connections between the Liberals and China, such as Liberal stalwart and recent ambassador to China John McCallum telling Chinese press that the Chinese government should go easy on the Liberals during the election because the Liberals staying in power will better serve Chinese interests.
Disinfo reporters breathlessly reported about some bots joining in on #TrudeauMustGo, yet when an anonymous Liberal-partisan Twitter account tweeted out a bogus claim that the Conservatives had hired two actors to pose with CPC Leader Andrew Scheer there was nothing but virtual silence from these same journalists.
Even Liberal partisans like the Prime Minister’s chief of staff’s husband and political commentator Rob Silver helped spread the disinformation. Lapsed right-wing commentator Charles Adler — who seems to be following in Michael Coren’s born-again Liberal footsteps these days — and Liberal MP Marlene Jennings also spread the disinfo that was retweeted by hundreds and liked by over a thousand.
Neither the CBC, Buzzfeed, Toronto Star or National Observer published an article explaining this major piece of disinfo.
What made this case all the more disturbing is that the anonymous Twitter account was able to hide the comments on its tweet from one of the actors they had falsely accused of being hired to pose with Scheer. The new feature allowing Twitter users to hide comments they don’t like is only available to Canadian users and was introduced in the lead-up to the 2019 election.
The fact that it is being tested during an election raises major concerns that were just demonstrated by the Liberal-partisan anonymous Twitter user who was able to censor the truth while continuing to promote and spread their unsubstantiated claim far and wide.
Politicians (as well as other spin masters) like Environment Minister Catherine McKenna have started hiding some of the reasonable responses to their deceptive tweets, yet these disinfo journalists have not sounded the alarm over this major flaw with Twitter’s new feature that allows disinfo spreaders to go unchallenged directly.
Ironically, four of these same disinfo reporters from BuzzFeed and the Toronto Star spent months co-investigating right-of-centre news outlet The Post Millennial. Part of the hit piece focused on how one of its writers has affiliations with the Conservative movement in Canada, as if this somehow discredits the outlet as a whole, even though the mainstream press is littered with self-described objective reporters who are in actuality partisan hacks ignoring or downplaying the governing Liberals’ misdeeds. The CBC disinfo reporter also — independently of the others work — investigated and wrote about The Post Millennial.
It’s also important to note that the Toronto Star is now reaping millions of dollars from Trudeau’s bailout bribe of the media that his government unveiled in the lead-up to the election. CBC already got paid generously with an additional annual $150 million of taxpayer’s money shortly after its incredibly biased 2015 election coverage helped Trudeau assume power.
The National Observer received nearly $200,000 in bulk subscription government contracts and will undoubtedly benefit from the Trudeau government’s media bailout.
The omission of a major piece of disinformation by these reporters makes one wonder if they should be trusted at all to, in good faith, look out and call out fake information online. Right now it looks a lot more like they’re cherry picking and inflating some online disinformation while ignoring other disinformation in order to construct a false political narrative that benefits the party in power.