2017 #SMSociety Theme: Social Media for Social Good or Evil

Our online behaviour is far from virtual–it extends our offline lives. Much social media research has identified the positive opportunities of using social media; for example, how people use social media to form support groups online, participate in political uprising, raise money for charities, extend teaching and learning outside the classroom, etc. However, mirroring offline experiences, we have also seen social media being used to spread propaganda and misinformation, recruit terrorists, live stream criminal activities, reinforce echo chambers by politicians, and perpetuate hate and oppression (such as racist, sexist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic behaviour).

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Sunday, July 30 • 11:01 - 12:30
Social Media Use By Government In Canada: Examining Interactions Of Immigration, Refugees And Citizenship Canada On Twitter And Facebook [WIP]

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Authors: Maria Gintova

Abstract: In 2011, the need to use social media to interact with the public was acknowledged as a priority for Canadian government for the first time. The Open Dialogue stream of initiatives within the Canada’s Action Plan on Open Government called for a two-way dialogue between the Government of Canada and the public. Currently, the majority of government agencies use social media. However, they are still exploring the ways of using these new tools as a part of existing communication channels. As recent studies suggest, government does not consider social media as a way to engage public in government business but rather solely views it as a new means to provide information. This information might be already available on the government agency website.
This paper examines how one of the federal government agencies - Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees Canada (IRCC) uses social media. As the analysis shows, IRCC does interact with the public by answering questions, providing information about its programs and services and sharing information posted on other accounts. The findings indicate that (1) IRCC engages much more actively on Twitter than on Facebook; (2) IRCC views Twitter as a way to answers questions that immigrants, students, workers, visitors to Canada as well as Canadian citizens and permanent residents might have about its programs and services and (3) IRCC does not usually seek opinions and engage on policy development issues neither on Twitter nor on Facebook.

Sunday July 30, 2017 11:01 - 12:30 EDT
TRS 1-077- 7th Flr Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C19