Canada is in the midst of a general federal election, and social media is amplifying all related political activity, creating an overwhelming volume of data to decipher. It is this torrent that causes many to ascribe to this process the title of social media election, in spite of the status quo reigning supreme when it comes to the level of interactivity and transparency practiced by the leaders and their parties.
Perhaps the greatest irony is the role of the leaders debate, which once again has garnered controversy by excluding the leader of the Green Party, done in a way that demonstrates the lack of transparency found throughout the process as a whole. Yet if this is a social media election, why have any debate at all? Rather the debate can be ongoing, and online, if only the leaders were capable of having a civilized discussion anywhere but under the hard gaze of television cameras.
Therefore if this is not a social media election, what is it? What is it not? How is social media being used by the parties, by the media, by the public? How could and should it be used? How could political debates be facilitated so as to apply similar pressure as television but without the limits that medium must place?
We'll also take time in this seminar to talk about the explosion of data related to this election, and the technology that is being used to engage and understand it all. Will this technology have an impact?