Early October last year, Maclean’s was crowning Quebec as the most corrupt province in Canada. Numerous scandals had stained the Belle Province’s reputation in the past decades. Corruption and lack of transparency were amongst the allegations made against it.
In an effort to connect with the Quebecers, political parties – who are usually late comers – have started blogging, tweeting and facebooking. It is now well know that Social Medias are a powerful promotional tool and Barack Obama’s success story might have inspired many politicians to start using Web 2.0 to promote themselves or their party.
But maybe Liberal Party of Quebec members should have read this paper from Texas University researchers before establishing their Social Media Strategy. A Radio-Canada’s investigation revealed last week that some Twitter accounts that were very supportive of the Liberal Party actually belong to members or supporters of the party but used nicknames like @Falalalalaaaa, @Cest_un_fait and @acontrecourant. Journalists were able to link the tweets back to QLP’s server.
Anonym on the web, possible?
Being completely anonymous on the Web is thing of the past. As ars technica posted on their blog, it’s useful to remember just how far your data trail extends behind you on the Internet… and just how well determined researchers can follow the digital bread crumbs.
Radio-Canada’s journalist didn’t dig deep to figure out the Twitter accounts were coming from the PLQ’s server. But even if members had been careful enough not to use it, it would have been possible to link the accounts back to the Party.
Political parties’ authenticity, utopia?
The use of Social Media was in itself a great idea to reach the voters. But using anonymous accounts to simulate greater support to the government, no so great.
People are on Twitter to engage with brands and companies but in order to filter the information they find; they need to know who they are talking to. And trying to fool them won’t help.
As a citizen, what do you think? Is the PLQ strategy OK or revolting?