A new report from the Communications Security Establishment says that there is a high chance of foreign interference in the 2019 election.
The report says it is likely to come in the form of misinformation spread through social media or untrustworthy websites.
Veronica Kitchen is an associate professor of political science at the University of Waterloo, who says citizens must equip themselves with critical thinking tools that help them navigate through the information they find online.
“Teachers need to be thinking about that. It means that the media needs to be thinking about transparency and how they’re reporting, what kind of evidence they are using. Politicians themselves need to be very careful, and candidates need to be very careful that they’re not reproducing information that is false, while leaving open the possibility that of course – for any given set of facts, there’s a lot of different ways of thinking about them.”
She says voters need to be on the lookout for misinformation, and be able to differentiate that from different interpretations of a story -- which can still be factual.
“Some of the ways we can do that is by thinking about who the source is. Is it a news source that you recognize and that you trust? Is it being reported by news sources that you recognize or trust? You can triangulate and go off looking to see if a well-known Canadian news source is reporting something you are seeing pop up on your Twitter feed or on your Facebook feed.”