Social and Digital Disinformation Report

August 01, 2019

As a component of its ongoing Strengthening Canadian Democracy initiative, launched in June 2017, the SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue conducted a pan-Canadian national survey of Canadians to build out its current knowledge, and to establish baseline measures that will be used to track the progress and impact of activities by multiple actors across Canada to strengthen Canadian democracy.

Key Takeaways

Social and Digital Disinformation

1. Canadians believe disinformation is a serious problem for Canadian democracy.

2. Canadians are concerned about the impact and risks of disinformation on Canadian democracy and Canada’s social fabric. They believe it has an impact on confidence in government and political leaders, borne of threats from foreign actors on our elections and manipulation by politicians, and is driving an increase in polarization and intolerance of different political views.

3. Yet, Canadians also see access to the internet, mobile phones and social media as a positive vehicle for greater and more meaningful citizen participation in their democracy.

4. Canadians think government should regulate social media companies to address disinformation rather than letting the companies self-regulate.

5. In their use of social media, Canadians are very protective of their personal information, and prefer action to limit harmful and hateful content, but many value free speech and self-regulation over censorship.

Dialogue Dispatch


Dialogue Dispatch is our community of practice newsletter where we share updates on our team's knowledge exchange activities alongside inspiring case studies, suggested readings and practical tools for people and organizations working to transform the field of democratic participation.

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