Will "bots" play a role in the election?

Today’s the day Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes the ceremonial visit to the Governor General and then – fasten your seatbelts – the election campaign is officially underway. The avalanche of campaign news and partisan messages will continue until Oct. 21. Social media plays an increasingly important role in the strategy of all parties, but will “bots” have an influence? Today in The Conversation Canada, Ahmed Al-Rawi of Simon Fraser University looks at the impact of bots – automated social media accounts programmed by humans to send hundreds and sometimes thousands of messages a day – in the pre-election period. His conclusion after analyzing 1.7 million political tweets? Read on to find out.

Eric Oliver of Dalhousie University continues our series on ocean stories for Science Literacy Week by examining how warming seas are impacting the lives of people who make a living on the water.

Jody Mason of Carleton University tells us about Penguin Random House’s new “indie” imprint and what it will mean for Canadian literature and Sarah Kaplan of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto looks at how many corporations are stepping in to fill the void left by lax government regulations on climate change and other issues.


Scott White


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There’s little evidence that Twitter is being overrun with partisan bots in the leadup to the Canadian election. Waldemar Brandt/Unsplash

Scant evidence of active Twitter bots as Canadian election nears

Ahmed Al-Rawi, Simon Fraser University

Claims that tweets on the Canadian election are the work of bot accounts, without empirical evidence or verification, need to be taken with a grain of salt.

Sunset off the coast of Newfoundland. Michel Rathwell/flickr

Ocean warming is changing the relationship coastal communities have with the ocean

Eric Oliver, Dalhousie University

Coastal communities are part of the solution to understanding the impacts of marine heatwaves — and finding solutions.

Despite its rhetoric of innovation and experimentation, the indie-style imprint Strange Light is brought to us by a company that is already dominating the country’s literary space. Amine Rock Hoovr /Unsplash

New Can-Lit ‘indie’ book imprint is anything but

Jody Mason, Carleton University

Don't be fooled by the 'indie' rhetoric surrounding the new imprint of Penguin Random House Canada, a multinational corporation. Only time will tell if it will do much for the diversification of Can-Lit.

Corporations are stepping in to support and invest in social and environmental change when governments cannot or will not. Shutterstock

How corporations are stepping up to tackle crises when governments won’t

Sarah Kaplan, University of Toronto

Corporations are often stepping in to fill the void when governments are failing to adequately address social, economic and environmental crises.

La Conversation Canada

Un ours polaire sur une banquise. L'Arctique est particulièrement sensible aux changements climatiques, et la façon dont il réagit est complexe et a un impact important sur le reste du globe. shutterstock

Expédition MOSAiC: mieux comprendre la crise climatique grâce à l'Arctique

Marta Moreno Ibáñez, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM); Rene Laprise, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

L'Arctique est particulièrement sensible aux changements climatiques, et la façon dont il réagit est complexe et a un impact important sur le reste du globe.



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