As Donald Trump will tell you, it really doesn’t pay to get offside with social media giants like Twitter and Facebook.
Yesterday Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland posted a heavily edited video that purported to have Erin O’Toole saying he was all in for privatized health care. The edited clip pointedly omitted O’Toole saying that despite his call for private investment in healthcare, nonetheless universal access had to be paramount.
Twitter re-labelled the tweet “The tweets in question have both been labelled in line with our global synthetic and manipulated policy,” Twitter Canada said in a statement to CBC.
It noted that labelled tweets have limited visibility in search functions, replies and on timelines and are not recommended algorithmically by Twitter.
The release of the video provided a springboard for Justin Trudeau, campaigning in New Brunswick to leap into full outrage mode, declaring, “we just saw today that Erin O’Toole, in the pandemic, came out clearly in favour of a private, for-profit health-care system for Canada,” Trudeau said. “Shame on you, in a pandemic, no less.” The PM may have been unaware that the Conservatives had already called out the doctored clip and had posted the interview in question in full, showing O’Toole saying universal access had to be paramount.
In the first eight days of the campaign the Liberals have focused on trying to define O’Toole. They tried to portray him as having a hidden agenda on abortion, something O’Toole was able to refute by calling for equitable access to abortion services. He was also attacked for having a less stringent mandatory vaccine policy than the Liberals, but on closer examination, it turned out there was relatively minor difference between the two party’s policies.
The interview in question was over an hour long in which Kate Harrison of Summa Strategies interviewed O’Toole. Today Harrison posted a Tweet condemning the manipulated video
Both the edited and unedited versions of the O’Toole clip can be found here.
The day after the Liberal posting of what was intended as a ‘gotcha’ clip against O’Toole, , today’s news is dominated by stories of the manipulated video and the Twitter sanction against the Liberals.