Wish we could disagree better online? Our new Field Guide can help!

Blog Post

Happening Now Thursday, September 19, 2019 View Count = 798

Wish we could disagree better online? Our new Field Guide can help!

For many Canadians, social media has become a popular space to talk about politics.

By enabling users to freely express their ideas and learn from one another, social media can be a powerful tool to strengthen our democracy. But with Canadians encountering more anger and incivility online than off, something has gone wrong.

There’s been a lot of talk about what governments and social media platforms should do to improve our digital discourse—and their action is needed. But with a federal election underway, and #elxn43 trending online, the Samara Centre for Democracy turns your attention to what citizens can do.

Bringing together insights from the study of difficult conversations and social media, as well as new survey data, today we launch The Samara Centre’s Field Guide to Online Political Conversations. In this report, we examine what’s going wrong, why it matters, what government action we should expect, and how citizens can change the nature of online political conversations.

Drawing on research from social psychology and social media behaviour, the Field Guide outlines seven techniques for having healthier and more constructive discussions online, such as:

  • practicing slow politics;

  • reframing one’s language;

  • focusing on identities that unite rather than divide;

  • policing members on your political team; and

  • getting into the weeds.

Want to find out more? Delve into the Field Guide at samaracanada.com/field-guide.


Tell us what you think about the Field Guide!


Election Day is October 21. But did you know that you can cast your ballot before that, and in different ways?

As part of the What to Expect When You're Electing series, on October 15 the Samara Centre will release an explainer with detailed information on how and where to vote. 

In the meantime, check out what you need to know to vote on or before Election Day, including important dates, ID requirements, and voting options. With election season in full swing, it's never too soon to start planning!

We've also created this colourful voting calendar to help you keep track:

Voting Calendar

Don’t want to miss anything election-related?
 Sign up for our weekly newsletter to receive our latest news and updates, including brand new election-focused research, tools, and resources!

On the Samara BlBlog logo representing the letter 'o'g