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RSS FeedsWhy extreme messaging on Edmonton´s anti-Trudeau billboards is concerning experts
(The Star Health)


26 june 2019 20:56:21

Why extreme messaging on Edmonton´s anti-Trudeau billboards is concerning experts
(The Star Health)

EDMONTON—On a recent June day, a large billboard on the south side of Edmonton cast a shadow over the passing cars below. “Is Trudeau leading us to civil war?” asked the blood-red lettering emblazoned across a black background on the 10-foot-by-20-foot electronic sign.Above the main text was a series of phrases provided without context, among them: “mass migration,” “firearms ban,” “normalizing pedophilia,” “eco-hysteria” and “globalism.”The man behind the billboard, and another like it on the city’s west side, sums it up: “These are the kinds of things that people are talking about online,” said Peter Downing.Downing is a former Mountie. His lobby group, Alberta Fights Back, also funded a billboard in February that asked “Should Alberta Ditch Canada?” He said he has more billboards on the way. Read more: Alberta’s Jason Kenney warns of separatist angst in first visit to OttawaFacebook refuses to remove false content during Canadian electionBots, hackers and trolls: How the digital misinformation war is being waged ahead of the federal election“It’s pointing out the dysfunction and bringing it out in the public to have this discussion,” he said. Some of the most heated topics on the internet — including conspiracy theories and out-and-out falsehoods — have morphed from right-wing message boards to the streets of the Alberta capital, often in the form of antipathy in Alberta toward Trudeau and the federal government. University of Alberta political science professor Jared Wesley said the Alberta election discourse validated some of the emotions that underlie the extreme messaging pushed by groups like Alberta Fights Back, and politicians have failed to step up and condemn them.“Before social media, I think we lived in a time where establishment parties would snuff that out. They would either stifle it, or they would ...

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