Federal government funding academics to hunt vaccine skeptics on TikTok

The Digital Citizen Contribution Program, through Heritage Canada, is funding 16 separate projects, including searching for crypto-nazis developing amateur online games.

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According to a recent funding announcement, Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson University) Audience Lab received funding for a "multimodal study of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and vaccine promotion on the TikTok platform."

A grant to Concordia University for a study called "Mods, Memes, Minigames" is meant to locate alt-right meme makers and gamers with a mandate to:

"Detail current activity by the Canadian alt-right in amateur game creation and wider game culture, particularly in the areas of memes, minigames and game mods, in order to create typologies and frameworks for mapping the evolution and spread of such content; 2) raise awareness among the wider public about alt-right activity in game culture; and 3) build research capacity in the area of disinformation and games among Canadian and other scholars and practitioners."

Another handout to Ontario Digital Literacy and Access Network was to examine "possible practices to protect Canadian organizations from queerphobic cyber-violence," and another to the University of Moncton seeks to identify online climate skepticism.

The Digital Citizen funding amounts to 1.6 million dollars as part of a broader 31 million in funding for preventing online "harms."

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  • By Ezra Levant

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