Candidates should be cautious about online posts, says prof

A University of Victoria professor is warning candidates to be cautious about what they post online.

A University of Victoria professor is warning candidates to be cautious about what they post online after two Island Liberal candidates withdrew from the federal election in the last few weeks for inappropriate comments made on social media.

Last week, Victoria Liberal candidate Cheryl Thomas resigned after comments made about the Jewish and Muslim communities resurfaced on a satirical website, Truth North Times.

Thomas, who worked in the Middle East, posted on Facebook in 2014 saying “the oppressed of the Warsaw ghettos and the concentration camps have become the oppressors, keeping the Palestinians who are left in their “homeland” in ghettoes.”

In 2013, she said mosques are being used as brainwashing stations.

Thomas has since apologized for the comments, stating they are “offensive and have no place in our political discourse.”

“I want to apologize particularly to the Jewish and Muslim communities for these insensitive statements,” she wrote in a statement on her campaign page.

According to Janni Aragon, assistant professor in the department of political science and the director of technology integrated learning, Thomas made the right decision to step down.

“Her comments were very problematic,” she said, adding parties need to vet candidates more closely.

“If you’re running for office, you’re now saying that you’re a public person and you make yourself vulnerable to people researching you and your digital footprint.”

A few days earlier, Liberal candidate Maria Manna running in the Cowichan-Malahat-Langford riding also resigned after expressing skepticism about the Sept. 11 attacks in the U.S.

Aragon said candidates need to be more mindful of what they comment on, post or retweet.

“People want to know if they can trust you, what’s your judgement like,” she said, adding in the age of social media, candidates must continue with traditional campaign methods such as door knocking, but should also have a strong social media presence.

“Candidates need to be smarter. It’s unfortunate that she  made these comments, but the fact that people could go and find them is an issue as well.”

Thomas’ resignations means there will be no Liberal candidate running in the Victoria riding, since the deadline for candidates to enter the race set out by Elections Canada has passed.

Her name will still appear on the ballot on the Oct. 19 election, even though she isn’t running.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Members of the Victoria Police Department, some of whom are shown here observing a moment of silence for victims of a mass shooting in Nova Scotia, experience stress and potential trauma more than most other workers, says Chief Const. Del Manak. While the number of shifts lost at VicPD are soaring, he sees it as a sign people are taking their own health and wellness seriously. (Black Press Media file photo)
Skyrocketing number of lost shifts at Victoria police has a positive side, chief says

Chief Const. Del Manak says officers, staff being more proactive looking after their mental health

A Seed and Stone rendering for White Rock, B.C. (Seed and Stone rendering)
Songhees Nation to open two Victoria cannabis stores spring 2021

Seed and Stone stores will open on Gordon Street and in the Bay Centre

A water taxi at Victoria’s Fisherman’s Wharf. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria man arrested after stealing water taxi, racing it up Gorge Waterway

Man is facing recommended charges of theft over $5,000

Inmates at Metchosin’s William Head Institution are being given COVID-19 vaccines as part of the first phase. Around 600 inmates will be vaccinated in the coming days. (Black Press Media file photo)
William Head inmates in Metchosin receive their first doses of COVID vaccine

Priority set for older inmates and those with underlying medical conditions

Muddy Valley Farm in rural Saanich is calling for witnesses after its large metal gate was stolen overnight on Monday, Jan. 18. (Muddy Valley Farm/Facebook)
Rural Saanich farm reports large metal gate stolen

Muddy Valley Farm gate stolen overnight by ‘at least two people’

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Ucluelet paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

A mattress on fire gutted the second floor hallway at Town Park Apartments C-block Jan. 17. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue images)
‘Suspicious’ Port Hardy apartment fire could keep tenants out of their homes for months

A burning mattress created smoke and heat, causing several tenants to jump from windows

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

A new video from NCCIH and BC Northern Health titled ‘Healing in Pandemic Times: Indigenous Peoples, Stigma and COVID-19’ was animated by Joanne Gervais. (Photo Provided By: NCCIH Archives)
VIDEO: Stigma against Indigenous people is a ‘social sickness’

A new short animated video is aiming to educate the public on the stigmatization

Most Read