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

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 under.

Professor of strategic communication Emmanuel Choquette, from the Department of Communication at the University of Sherbrooke, confirms that the displacement is intensifying.

Costs are lower when using social media, and you are also less constrained 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 recalls 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. »

A quote from Emmanuel Choquette, communication professor at the University of Sherbrooke

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

Photo: Radio Canada

A two-edged knife

While social media offers flexibility and connection with voters, it is also a vehicle for hate messages. Several politicians, including Alain Rayes, have recently denounced the violence conveyed through social media (New window)even inviting elected officials and candidates to block malicious individuals.

There is a paradox on the utility, either to pass messages, to reach many people and to have alternative platforms to communicate, and perverse effects with aggressive, even violent reactions, mentions Emmanuel Choquette. But that, too, has been around for a long 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 send messages and we are less filtered. It is possible to almost enter into a dialogue. »

A quote from Emmanuel Choquette, communication professor at the University of Sherbrooke

However, the professor points out that if this advertising has many advantages, it also serves to fatten the pockets of the large 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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