U of A campus & Livestream • November 17–19, 2023
begin template: parklandconference/pages_show_event
Concurrent session

Populism and Social Media: The New Instruments of Right-Wing Power


November 16, 2019 at 2:30pm - 3:45pm


Engineering Teaching & Learning Complex (ETLC), University of Alberta
Google map and directions
with David Taras and Nora Loreto

David Taras focuses on how right wing populist politicians such as Matteo Salvini, Jair Bolsonaro, and of course Donald Trump have used Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to reach out to and mobilize their followers. The question is whether those who promote right wing populist causes have an advantage over their left wing opponents in using these new technologies of power.

David Taras holds the Ralph Klein Chair in Media Studies at Mount Royal University. He is the author (with Christopher Waddell) of The End of the CBC? and a co-editor of Power Shift?: Political Leadership and Social Media. Both books will be out in early 2020. Taras is also a political commentator on the Global Morning News in Calgary.

Nora Loreto takes a closer look at the far right's social media strategy. While much of the world's focus was on ISIS and its use of social media to radicalize and galvanize international support, the far right was using the same techniques to accomplish the same thing in Canada. How has social media been leveraged to fuel the rise of Canadian mainstream populism, neo-Nazi organizations, and far-right violence in Canada?

Nora Loreto is a writer, podcaster and activist. She is the editor of the Canadian Association of Labour Media (CALM) and writes regularly for the National Observer and the Washington Post.