Sheila Copps says she is a Liberal no matter what Facebook tells you

Sheila Copps feels compelled to tell you she is not endorsing NDP candidate Matthew Green in his federal election bid for Hamilton Centre — even if Facebook says otherwise.

The former Hamilton East-Stoney Creek MP — a Liberal stalwart — has complained to Elections Canada after seeing her name listed as “liking” a Facebook ad for Green.

A screenshot shows the name “Sheila Copps” as a “liking” a campaign ad on Facebook by NDP candidate Matthew Green | Facebook screenshot

Facebook allows users of the social media website — a popular election campaign tool — to “like” pages, posts and ads.

Copps contends she did “no such thing” — either purposely or by accident — and she wants the “fake” reference scrubbed and explained, either by Facebook or the Green campaign.

“I don’t want people going to the voting booth Monday thinking I support (Green),” she said.

The complaint was news to a bemused Green, who is trying to keep the riding orange after incumbent David Christopherson’s retirement.

“We don’t have any control over Facebook algorithms, or what anyone else chooses to post. For anyone to say otherwise is just false,” he said. “All we did is shoot a great video (for the ad) — which I can say has been very successful.”

The riding’s Liberal candidate Jasper Kujavsky has also heard from puzzled residents, said campaign manager Nathan Grundy. “It’s a bit of a pain in the butt.”

Grundy noted a resident reported seeing other known Liberals listed as “liking” the ad, prompting him to wonder if there was a problematic “algorithm issue” (Facebook calculations used to determine what content you see) or even fake accounts in play.

Green checked online and reported Copps is listed as having “liked” his political campaign page, which also contains some content from his days as a city councillor pre-2018. He wondered whether the apparent endorsement could be linked to that older content.

Copps, a prolific Twitter user, admitted she is unfamiliar with the ins and outs of Facebook. Regardless, she says she has never knowingly “liked” any political page or ad.

Facebook did not respond to Spectator questions Thursday. But the company is no stranger to controversy over election advertising or allegations of “fake likes.”

Want more information about political ads? Check out Facebook’s ad library and your privacy settings.

[email protected]

905-526-3241 | @Mattatthespec

[email protected]

905-526-3241 | @Mattatthespec

Source link