Bureaucrats monitor online forums

Cpt_pineapple
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Bureaucrats monitor online forums

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/05/23/social-media-government-monitoring.html

 

 

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Bureaucrats monitor online forums

Last Updated: Sunday, May 23, 2010 | 10:43 AM ET Comments351Recommend103

The next time you post an opinion in an online forum or a Facebook group message board, don't be surprised if you get a rebuttal from a federal employee.

The government is looking for ways to monitor online chatter about political issues and correct what it perceives as misinformation.

The move started recently with a pilot project on the East Coast seal hunt. A Toronto-based company called Social Media Group has been hired to help counter some information put forward by the anti-sealing movement.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has paid the firm $75,000 "to monitor social activity and help identify … areas where misinformation is being presented and repeated as fact," Simone MacAndrew, a department spokesperson, said in an email.

Employees trained in online posting for seal hunt topics

The firm alerts the government to questionable online comments and then employees in Foreign Affairs or the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, who have recently been trained in online posting, point the authors to information the government considers more accurate.

It appears to be just the beginning.

The seal hunt pilot project was set up in part "to establish foundations and recommendations for future programs and campaigns to use social media as another way to listen to, inform and engage with Canadians," MacAndrew added.

For some, the move to online monitoring was to be expected.

"I think we're seeing the government recognize that millions of Canadians are actively participating online in social networks," said Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa who specializes in internet law.

"We've had Facebook groups in Canada that have grown to the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people, and they've clearly had a direct impact on public policy."

Geist himself launched such a Facebook group in 2007. He managed to get more than 84,000 members to help denounce a proposed copyright law that critics said would have restricted the way in which people use, copy or share books, movies and music they purchase.

The bill was eventually put up for public consultations and is expected to be reintroduced in Parliament in the coming days. It remains to be seen, however, whether the online group managed to convince the government to alter the bill.

The commercial seal hunt might be an ideal test case for government involvement in online debate. The issue has polarized Canadians.

Opponents call the hunt cruel and needless and say seals are sometimes skinned alive or killed as whitecoated newborns. Supporters point out that regulations governing the hunt forbid both tactics and the hunt is heavily monitored. They accuse opponents of spreading lies by having celebrities such as Paul McCartney pose with whitecoat seals, pleading for their protection.

Some groups are wary of government employees being paid to post comments.

"I would certainly hope they would be up front about who they are," said Sheryl Fink, a senior researcher with the International Fund for Animal Welfare, a group which has long opposed the seal hunt.

"I think it does [help] if it's a link to an actual study. If it's a link to a press release that's got inaccurate information, that's not helping at all. It's, I guess, the distinction between the communications side of the government departments … and the actual science or data."


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http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/05/23/social-media-government-monitoring.html#ixzz0onXpqNeJ

 


Jormungander
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Is there any more that need

Is there any more that need be said? Oh yeah: this is squandering Canadian taxpayer dollars.


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Jormungander wrote:Is there

Jormungander wrote:

Is there any more that need be said? Oh yeah: this is squandering Canadian taxpayer dollars.

Canadians don't tend to have the same objection to make-work projects that Americans do. If they end up imparting the letter of the law, what's the harm? It would actually be a public service.

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cj
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I'm conflicted on this

I'm conflicted on this one.

Jobs are good.  People who hunt seals are living in an area with few jobs.  So hunting seals is good.  People working for the government have jobs.  So having a government job is better than no job at all, so posting on facebook, etc and getting paid for it is good.

But baby seals are so cute.  Big black eyes in those white faces.  So killing baby seals is bad. 

But big government getting in the middle of our private lives and hiring people to do make work is bad.  It's a waste of taxes.

But those people working for the government are paying taxes.  They are contributing to their own paychecks.  (talk about circular)

But telling the truth is good - getting out there and speaking the truth is what this forum is all about, right?  So having people spreading truth is a good idea, right?  Even if they do work for the government?

  I'm on the fence.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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I could understand the

I could understand the outrage if they were hunting Florida seals. Those are an endangered species. But Canada is pretty much drowning in seals, isn't it?


Vastet
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Good for them. Too many

Good for them. Too many idiots lying about Canada all over the net. About time the government ran a counter to all the bs. Best use of tax dollars from this administration so far.

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jmm
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Ha ha.  It's amazing how

Ha ha.  It's amazing how much the so-called "free-thinking" liberal set needs the government to micro-manage every aspect of life.


Kapkao
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You're quite the heckler,

You're quite the heckler, mr. JMM.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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"Who watches the watchers", part II

Jormungander wrote:

Is there any more that need be said? Oh yeah: this is squandering Canadian taxpayer dollars.

(Shouldn't that be the "Minstry of Love"?)

You live in California, correct? Well, hate to break it to you, but if it goes over fiber optics in the US, it's being monitored. Most of the time it won't even reach the eyes of anyone in US intelligence, but if you put "Allah Bomb President US Infidel Kill blablablablabla" in your emails, messageboard posts, IMs, chatrooms, and personal pages... someone will definitely take notice.

And if you (general you) go so far as to threaten the life of a public official (USA or major Allies) you can bet your ass you'll be into serious legal consequences by the next day.

Folks, there are way too many 'bullseyes' on American Gov't and it's associated VIPs to simply leave potential threats completely unmonitored; to leave "Internal security" to chance, in the name of "liberty".

 

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


Cpt_pineapple
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jmm wrote:Ha ha.  It's

jmm wrote:

Ha ha.  It's amazing how much the so-called "free-thinking" liberal set needs the government to micro-manage every aspect of life.

 

 

 

 


HisWillness
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jmm wrote:Ha ha.  It's

jmm wrote:

Ha ha.  It's amazing how much the so-called "free-thinking" liberal set needs the government to micro-manage every aspect of life.

It's a make-work project. Do you think advertisements are some kind of thought control as well?

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