With the election in full swing, every party is doing their best to put as much messaging out there as possible. However, getting a message out quickly can sometimes cause errors in judgment. Two Conservative social media posts had to be taken down in one week for falsifying information about both Justin Trudeau and TV host Rick Mercer.
The post about Justin Trudeau came after an RCMP press conference. RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki had been speaking to reporters about the arrest of Cameron Ortis when she was asked if she wanted Trudeau to waive cabinet confidentiality in the SNC-Lavalin case. "Today we're here for Mr. Ortis's investigation. So I don't want to comment very much," Lucki said, according to CBC News. "We do take all investigations very seriously and investigate to the fullest."
It was that second part that appeared to be misconstrued by members of the Conservative Party's social media team. Brock Harrison, director of communications for Andrew Scheer, was the first to tweet that Justin Trudeau was under investigation by the RCMP.
Shortly after, the official Conservative Party Twitter sent out their own tweet, writing, "Breaking: RCMP confirms Justin Trudeau is under investigation for the SNC-Lavalin corruption scandal."
After Scheer repeated Lucki's assertion that the RCMP take all investigations seriously, an RCMP Spokesperson wrote in an email to CBC, "The commissioner's statement was a general statement about investigations," and "The RCMP will not comment on the SNC-Lavalin issue."
Both tweets were taken down shortly after, but this is not the first time that the Conservatives appear to have posted misleading information. Andrew Scheer had previously tweeted about a false claim that the federal government would allow child-murderer Jon Venables to move to Canada.
More recently, Conservatives tweeted about Trudeau buying far-right commentator Faith Goldy drinks and sharing a platform with her. Both allegations were denied by the Liberal Party.
Another Conservative social media page was also posting false information, or at least what appeared to be a false endorsement.
The Burnaby North-Seymour Conservative Constituency Association posted an image of Rick Mercer on their Facebook page with a quote from him about how young people should vote. However, the word "conservative" was added to the image to make it appear that the quote was advocating young people to vote conservative.
Rick Mercer was made aware of the tweet, and when asked if he had really said to "vote conservative," he wrote back, "Nope. Not real. Just a straight up fake by the candidate i guess." The Conservative Party has said that Ariane Eckardt, the person who runs the Facebook page, is not affiliated with the local campaign of Conservative candidate Heather Leung, according to 680News.
Mercer had sent out another tweet earlier addressed directly to Andrew Scheer and the Conservative Party, writing, "Dear @AndrewScheer & good folks at @Cpc_hq - Your candidate in Burnaby North Seymour is distributing a Meme on social media with my face and the words "Vote Conservative" indicating it is a quote from me. Not true. All fake. Please Stop."
A report from The Vancouver Sun claimed that Eckardt was listed as the President of the Burnaby North-Seymour electoral district association. However, as of Sept. 18, the President is listed as being Jim Pigott.
When asked about the social media post by PostMedia, Eckardt said, "It was a joke, but all the lefties took umbrage with it, so we took it down. We were very surprised when people took it serious."