Users’ online data is not safe in Trudeau’s Canada. He is using it for political advertising and to influence elections in the country. The leader of a country which is roiled by all the crises in the world has money to swing election results in his favour. He can vouchsafe megabucks to Cambirdge Analytica’s Canadian cousin.
Cambridge Analytica- which set off a furore in the US, has a Canadian cousin. The consulting firm that came to prominence through the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal. It was started in 2013 as a subsidiary of a private intelligence company and a self-described “global election management agency.” But the firm saw its last days in the year 2018 owing to the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
Read More: Chinese spy agency is Trudeau’s PR agency
But now its Canadian cousin, Meltwater News, is also making the same mistake. Well, what is meltwater and who are they best partners with? The company provides online “social listening” services and real-time social media monitoring to help clients “influence the world” around them.
What exactly is social listening? It refers to tracking conversations and mentions about a certain issue on social media sites, then analysing them to draw conclusions about what steps to follow. But you see, this service is mostly used by businesses and corporates. But why is it used in Canada for political purposes?
Well, it is because Trudeau has understood the cohesive power that online media possesses. There is a large inflow of people towards the conservative camp and every move of Trudeau’s is questioned freely in cyberspace. And now it is the need of the hour for the liberal champ to craft some heinous moves to monitor the personal details of people to make gains in the political sphere. So, Trudeau had a plan- funding his liberal bot team.
Since 2021, the Government of Canada paid $2,345,662.84 to this company in a bid to sell psychological profiles of Canadian voters to political campaigns. That’s just a small share of how much this company has been paid to monitor social media. The first contract was signed in 2014, right after Justin Trudeau was elected to lead the Liberal Party of Canada, just before the 2015 Federal Election that saw him become Prime Minister.
Moreover, back in 2017, Meltwater even acquired Infomart’s media monitoring business, which consists of the company’s database of Canadian media content, as well as a service that provides corporate customers with a direct feed of stories that interest them. Postmedia sold its Infomart business to media intelligence firm Meltwater for $38.25 million.
But, what’s more concerning is the privacy of the users. The totalitarian leader is risking the privacy of the citizens just for his own PR. And, you won’t believe your ears if we say this agency is a Chinese spy agency. Yes, you got that right. The company is best in partners with China of all countries.
That doesn’t sound good, right? Any firm boosting ties with China should be viewed with surveillance. But Trudeau wears a progressive coat, and this same progressive naivete has now allowed Meltwater to harvest Canadians’ online data much like China.
Furthermore, personal information accessed through the tool will only be disclosed on a need-to-know basis. Further adding to the shock is that the Chinese firms associated with Meltwater are all banned in North America for violations of human rights. At a time when China-US tensions are rising, Trudeau is busy adopting the Chinese style of surveillance, batting no eye about what others say.
Trudeau knows how to make full use of the cohesive power of social media to influence people’s thinking and impact the way they connect and communicate with one another. People tend to believe the news they come across on platforms like Twitter, and Facebook they consume regularly.
In a Statista study, consumers believe that out of all the news, 40% of it is somewhat fake news or made up. For all the good that social media can bring, there is a dark side to it as well, and much of it has to do with the amount of misinformation that can influence and manipulate opinions and what people consider to be true.
Trudeau seems to love the newfound technique, and he uses the Chinese spy agency Meltwater to influence voters and play a major role in his win. And this is something the established media in Canada will never bring to light or discuss. If the truth is out, Trudeau will have yet another reason to receive backlash, and the liberal bot team will suffer the same fate as its cousin- Cambridge Analytica.