Events

Inside the 44th Canadian general election on Twitter

By Michele Austin
Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Surprise! It's officially election season in Canada. 

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Canadians will be heading to the polls on September 20, 2021 and even though the federal election wasn’t supposed to happen this year, Canadians haven’t stopped Tweeting about politics in recent months. For the first half of 2021, the #cdnpoli hashtag was the undisputed champion as the most Tweeted made-in-Canada hashtag by Canadians. In fact, only #COVID19 had more Canadian mentions amongst all hashtags in 2021.* 

Once again, we worked with our partners at Elections Canada (@ElectionsCan_E and @ElectionsCan_F) to launch a custom Twitter emoji for the election. During the campaign, people who use Twitter can Tweet any of these hashtags to unlock the emoji and add some extra colour to their Twitter conversations. 

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The Leaders

The official accounts of party leaders will also be key accounts to follow in the lead-up to #elxn44. Sitting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) has added more than a million Twitter followers since September 2019 (from 4.5M to 5.6M) and is the all-time most followed Canadian politician on Twitter.

The leader of the New Democratic Party Jagmeet Singh (@theJagmeetSingh) has 483.6K followers while Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole (@ErinOToole) sits at 135.2K followers. 

In addition, here are the official accounts of three other party leaders to keep an eye on in the coming weeks:

Election Integrity Efforts

Twitter plays a critical role around the globe by empowering and driving civic participation, facilitating meaningful political debate, and enabling people to hold those in power accountable. However, we know that supporting this critical conversation cannot be achieved unless the integrity of this dialogue on Twitter is protected from attempts — both foreign and domestic — to undermine it.

Our Civic integrity policy targets the most harmful types of content that impact the integrity of civic events worldwide. The Census was the most recent Canadian event to take place under our Civic Integrity Policy. Twitter helped encourage and remind all Canadians to complete their 2021 Census in an effective, positive way. Our cross-functional efforts to protect the Census resulted in 90% positive/neutral sentiment within Tweets, with negative/neutral sentiment largely driven by Canadians wanting the long form over the short form survey. 

Our close partnership with Elections Canada and the Commissioner of Canada Elections (@cef_cce and @cef_cce_f) continues to help inform our approach on safeguarding the conversation occurring on Twitter. We have also signed on to an expanded Canada Declaration on Electoral Integrity Online

Our public policy team has trained and continues to work with more than a dozen federal government organizations in Canada as well as not-for-profit organizations to help keep the conversation safe and healthy.

Dedicated Election Search Prompt

During important news and civic events, people come to Twitter to find information and to join conversations about pressing issues in real time. Specifically, people use the Search function to find the most up-to-date information on Twitter about a topic such as the Canadian election.

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We worked with Elections Canada (@ElectionsCan_E and @ElectionsCan_F) to launch a dedicated election search prompt. When an individual using Twitter searches for certain keywords or hashtags associated with the Canadian election, a prompt will pop up in their search results to direct them to the official Elections Canada website. 

The prompt enables the public to find clear, credible information from reliable sources regarding important election topics. The prompt is available in English and French.

Stay Informed

This is a snap election and as such, we’re rolling out updates as fast as we can.

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Our efforts to foster healthy, meaningful conversations on Twitter during the #elxn44 campaign are ongoing, and we will continue to provide updates via our blog and our Twitter Canada account.

* Source: Twitter internal research. Tweets sent by Canadians, January 1 to June 30, 2021.

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Michele Austin

‎@_MicheleAustin‎

Head of Government, Public Policy and Philanthropy