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This talk will be about a research project that focuses on the malicious use of social media, specifically Twitter, during the 2019 Canadian Federal Election Campaign. Social-bots have often been used in the past to manipulate public discourse through disinformation campaigns aimed at committing political interference. The mixed methodological approach combining descriptive analyses (quantitative) with interviews (qualitative) is used to draw a portrait of social-bots role during this electoral campaign. A digital analysis tool called Botometer is used to find social-bots within a database initially collected in 2019 by Commissionaires du Québec. This tool makes it possible to identify the social-bots and rate them with a score from 0 (not a social-bots) to 5 (most likely a social-bots), which will then be analyzed to determine how they inserted themselves into the political discussion during the period under study. The interviews conducted with experts in the field aim to deepen and give meaning to the results obtained previously. The results of the study show that several social-bots did not publish content in English (52% with a rating of 5), the tweets analyzed are mainly retweets (87% of the sample), thousands of users have been suspended since the last year, and the hashtags used promoted the election of Liberal Justin Trudeau to the detriment of Conservative Andrew Scheer. Additionally, the overall content is divided between positive and negative feelings, with a slight prevalence of positive content (51.01% vs. 48.99%). This talk's primary goal is to give the audience a better understanding of the research field on this very new and critical geopolitical issue that happens to manifest on the surface of cyber. This aim also to share with anyone interested in an established methodological approach tested with a Canadian case study.
Marie-Pier Villeneuve-Dubuc , Commissionnaires du Québec - Cybersecurity department (VYGL)
Marie-Pier Villeneuve-Dubuc is a student with a bachelor's degree in criminology from Université de Montréal. She is an intern from Commissionnaire du Québec in their cybersecurity department (VYGL). Marie-Pier also works with other cybersecurity organizations such as SERENE-RISC to help share knowledge about cybercrime and cybersecurity. Through her studies, she accomplished different research projects on cybercrimes, the dark web, and recently geopolitical issues such as political interference on the cyber surface. She intends on doing a master's degree focusing primarily on cybercrimes and their international matters.