An election campaign that is moving more and more towards social media | Elections Quebec 2022

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An election campaign that is moving more and more towards social media | Élections Québec 2022

Élections Québec has also invested in social media for this election campaign.

Social media are increasingly used by political parties to try to promote their electoral campaign and reach their electorate. Some politicians only use these platforms to get their message across. While the practice is not new, Facebook having long since become embedded in political life, it has increased sharply during this campaign.

Prime Minister François Legault has also announced the launch of the campaign on social media, including TikTok, a newcomer this year that particularly targets young people aged 35 and less.

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@francoislegault On August 28, it officially begins. #FYP #Quebec #TikTokQuebec #polqc ♬ original sound – francoislegault

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Strategic communication professor Emmanuel Choquette, from the Department of Communication at the Université de Sherbrooke, confirms that the displacement is intensifying.

< p class="e-p">The costs are lower when you use social media, and you are also less limited by factors more associated with media industries, such as time […] We are able to better target the message and better collect the data.

The professor points out that certain social media, mainly TikTok, are heavily used by a younger population, who sometimes get information only through this medium. It's a way to reach this population that is less present on traditional and offline media.

“What's interesting about TikTok too, we don't have to be subscribers. You can follow an account, without being a subscriber. »

— Emmanuel Choquette, professor of communication at the University of Sherbrooke

Élections Québec is trying to reach 18-24 year olds on TikTok for the October 3 elections.

While social media offers flexibility and a connection with voters, they are also vectors of hateful messages. Several politicians, including Alain Rayes, have recently denounced the violence conveyed through social media, even inviting elected officials and candidates to block malicious individuals.

There is a paradox about usefulness, namely passing messages, reaching lots of people and having alternative platforms to communicate, and perverse effects with aggressive, even violent reactions, mentions Emmanuel Choquette. But that, too, has been around for quite some time.

Emmanuel Choquette also believes that this remains healthy for democracy.

“There are perverse effects, yes, but at the same time, we are really able to convey messages and we are less filtered. It is possible to almost enter into a dialogue. »

— Emmanuel Choquette, professor of communication at the University of Sherbrooke

However, the professor points out that while this advertising has many advantages, it also serves to fatten the pockets of the big web companies that collect this data on these platforms. In addition, he recalls that algorithms sometimes modify the perception of what is really happening on the web.

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