Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes his seat for a session at the Paris Peace Forum in Paris, France, Sunday, November 11, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

Politicians need to do better on social media, Trudeau says

Prime minister suggests at conference in Paris some are trying to use technology to polarize voters

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says politicians need to learn how to enhance citizen engagement through the use of social media in the face of leaders using those platforms to undermine democracy.

He made the comment this morning while speaking at a conference in Paris.

Without mentioning anyone by name, he suggested there are politicians who are trying to use technology to polarize voters.

Trudeau said it is easier to push someone into being angry through a well-timed tweet than to pull them into a positive dialogue about issues.

The discussion at the Paris event was driven by U.S. President Donald Trump, who regularly uses Twitter to fire up his legions of followers and vent at his critics.

READ MORE: White House says Trump’s tweet about Russia probe was an opinion

READ MORE: Trump takes to Twitter to criticize FBI, special prosecutor

Trudeau has been a target of Trump’s irate tweeting, particularly after the G7 meeting in Charlevoix, Que., over the prime minister’s comments on trade negotiations.

When asked directly to comment about Trump’s Twitter usage, Trudeau suggested Trump is just being Trump, adding that it’s important people are authentic on Twitter, and the American president is certainly that.

The comments came the day after Trudeau and other world leaders issued dire warnings about leaders calling themselves nationalists and the problems they pose for maintaining the world order built in the aftermath of the world wars.

Again, no names were mentioned, but the warnings seemed clearly aimed at Trump who has repeatedly professed his “American” nationalism.

Trudeau also took time at the conference to tout his government’s progress on digitizing the way it delivers services.

The prime minister has made the use of technology and data a priority in providing government programs to Canadians through digital channels alongside better, more up to date information to feed federal decisions.

In September, the federal government launched its new “digital standards” to help public servants navigate their way towards what the Liberals call an “effective digital government.”

But there have been hiccups along the way.

A pilot project from Statistics Canada to scoop up anonymized and randomized banking transactions on 500,000 Canadians has faced steep criticism from opposition parties in the House of Commons.

And internal documents obtained by The Canadian Press paint a clearer picture of detailed work underway to overcome the challenges the civil service faces in meeting the Liberals’ digital goals.

Trudeau is on a 10-day trip across Europe and Asia that began Friday with a gathering of world leaders in France to mark a century since the end of the First World War.

Jordan Press, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Coastal GasLink stops work to investigate archaeological find

OGC archaeologists are en route to the Houston-area site where Unist’ot’en report finding stone tools

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 5: Recap

Highlights and results from day 5 at the All Native Tournament

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 6: Preview

Look ahead to all the action scheduled for Feb. 16 at the All Native Tournament

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

The can’t decide the pipeline’s fate until a new round of consultations with Indigenous communities

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read