Trudeau Spends Large For Big Data
The Trudeau government has spent around $13.7 million on social media advertising since coming into power.
The numbers were revealed after Conservative MP Blake Richard requested it. The data was placed in a more than 1,500-page document.
The government used the money on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, between November 4, 2015, and May 10, 2017.
Between 2006-2014, Stephen Harper’s Tories spent around $5.8 million on Facebook ads. This stark difference in spending could explain why the Liberals have been more attuned with the younger demographics.
None the less it is interesting to see the Liberals spending so much when in the 2015 election, Trudeau, and the Liberals attacked them (in an advertisement) for overspending on advertisements.
Politics is also an area where information reigns supreme, and in the age of big data, it seems governments in power now have a far larger incentive to be involved within social media.
Social Media not only allows the advertiser to reach large groups of people but also allows them to reach specific segments within that group.
For example, want to target Conservatives who support free speech but love taxes?
Facebook lets you do that.
Now not only can you reach them but you can track the responses of each group to those ads. In many ways creating your own data bank of how Canadians of every political ideology will respond to specific ideas or messaging.
This data could, in turn, provide the Liberal government a massive advantage in any general or even local election.
This is the worrying trend in big data and with social media and therefore brings about an important question.
Are the advancements in information in the end worth it?
This large amount of data does go against our privacy and does provide the governing party with an advantage, but it also provides them with more data on exactly what Canadians want.
When used for personal gain it allows parties to refine their message achieving slim majorities, but when used well it could be the mechanism to bring about further democratization to our political system.