Campaigns and Crowdfunding - Throughout the last decade, online crowdfunding platforms have changed how voters make political donations. Although this turn provides ease for campaigners, it also poses new questions relating to how money moves after the writ drops. Using digital and qualitative methods, this project seeks to investigate the growing role of crowdfunding platforms in election campaigns.
The Politics of Hate in the Election Campaign - This project conducts an ethnography of far-right political activity in confrontation with a leftist social movement in southern Ontario. A local case study establishes an entry point to the fragmentary social media communities distributed across the political spectrum in discussion of federal electoral campaign issues. The study asks: how do adversarial viewpoints in Canadian politics …
Research Persona - This project employs ethnographic and fictional methods alongside digital methods tools to Track new forms of online propaganda (fake news, disinformation, misinformation). Understand new affective and emotional manipulation techniques . Explore the dynamics through which biased and propaganda informational objects shape individual and collective political affects.
Canada’s New Right Media Ecosystem - With the rise of bootstrapped, natively digital media and their confluence with the alt-right, this project asks: what impact does this have on the Canadian media landscape and the close relationship between Canadian media and Canadian politics?


Politics are no longer restricted to official communication channels and platforms such as mainstream news properties, political blogs, and candidate websites. As a consequence, the study of one platform, such as the chaotic and often adversarial Twitter platform, cannot adequately capture the disruptive influence of social media on political processes today.

This online election study focuses on a set of internet platforms not commonly associated with electoral politics. Our study investigates how political memes, language, and shared political objects (videos, photos, images, graphics, posts, etc) from fringe websites become insinuated into mainstream political discourse via more established social media platforms and news properties. We are studying the 2019 Canadian federal election from fringe perspectives posted on anonymous and anarchic internet forums that Tuters refers to as “the deep vernacular web” (2018), those who imagine themselves as opponents to the mainstream electoral processes taking place on more visible parts of the web.

Team Members

Anthony Burton
Melody Devries
Greg Elmer
Ganaele Langlois
Fenwick McKelvey
Steve Neville
Rod Philpot
Marc Tuters
Sabrina Ward

In the news

Greg Elmer quoted in “‘We’re not 100 per cent sure who’s framing the discussion anymore’: the evolving role of media in election coverage” Mike Lapointe, The Hill Times, October 30 2019.

Anthony Burton on the Ryerson Review of Journalism’s Pull Quotes: How Media Professionals Adapt to Challenging Misinformation. Season Three, Episode Two. November 7 2019.

Greg Elmer: “Will Scheer or Trudeau have an alt-right internet problem?Policy Options, September 2019

Greg Elmer and Caroline O’Neill, Moment of Truth on ELMNT.FM. October 3 2019.

Funding Acknowledgement

This website is part of “The Dark Web’s Impact on the 2019 Canadian Election”, a research project funded by the Digital Ecosystem Research Challenge. More information about the Research Challenge can be found here.