Canadians will elect a new Parliament in two weeks. The incumbent Liberals, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will attempt to retain their majority Oct. 21 against the rival Conservative and New Democratic parties.
Fact-checkers have been pleasantly surprised: Besides some French hoaxes and a few memes that carry misinformation, there hasn’t been a deluge of original false content spreading on digital platforms.
“It’s not the avalanche we thought it would be,” said Eve Beaudin, the Quebec-based reporter who maintains Rumor Detector (Détecteur de rumeurs), a fact-checking website created by the media non-profit Agence Science-Presse.
“(Outside of election season), there’s generally lots of misinformation related to energy issues, some on climate change. And we always have false claims about immigration, health and economics,” she told the IFCN.
But so far, elections haven’t changed that in a meaningful way.
Three weeks ago, Beaudin’s team at Agence Science-Presse launched a small-scale, unfunded project to run a Facebook page titled “Electoral campaign: Who’s telling the truth?” (Campagne électorale: Qui dit vrai?) that would keep track of all fact-checks related to the elections. So far, Beaudin said, the team hasn’t had as much misinformation and fact-checking to keep up with as they’d foreseen.
Are Canadians too polite to spread misinformation?
Maybe not. Beaudin said she can’t explain what is behind the lack of false news, though she cited the high levels of media trust and the low level of political polarization as potential factors.
Two other Quebec-based journalists, Jeff Yates of the fact-checking platform
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2019/canadian-fact-checkers-are-pleasantly-surprised-by-a-low-amount-of-false-electoral-content/