Mary Simon’s office closes social media commenting over ‘abusive, misogynistic and racist’ posts
Also cites violent threats online it says were hurtful to governor general and her staff
The office of Governor General Mary Simon has shut off all commenting on her social media accounts over a growing number of abusive comments, including a rise in “violent threats.”
“In recent months we have witnessed an increase in abusive, misogynistic and racist engagement on social media and online platforms, including a greater number of violent threats,” according to a news release from Simon’s office, posted online.
Simon, an Inuk who was born in Kangiqsualujjuaq, became governor general of Canada in 2021 and is the first Indigenous person in the role.
Her office indicated commenting on social media posts is being removed so people can engage with the information on the office’s social media in “an environment that is respectful to all.”
An emailed statement to Nunatsiaq News from Simon’s office said the comments have been hurtful to Simon herself, staff members who monitor the accounts and to people who engage with the social media accounts.
The response didn’t elaborate on the nature or target of any threats that were made, or whether Simon’s office had passed the information on to police.
Women, especially those from visible minorities, are disproportionately targets of abuse in politics, Toronto Metropolitan University department of politics and public administration professor Tracey Raney stated in a post from the Government of Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in 2022.
hmm, maybe it has something to do with the ridiculous salary raise you were given without merit while the rest of Canada can barely afford groceries.
It might, but we can’t accept that as an excuse for abuse.
On the other hand I agree with the comment below in that we can’t really see what was said so we are at the mercy of the interpretations of people who make a living crying misogyny and racism at every turn.
And here you are still on abusive mode. High salary? It’s just a matter of chasing this high salary, anyone with an education can attain it…so get of your butt and do something. sitting there and being wishy wishy ain’t gonna get you anywhere…..I only have high school diploma but today, I can buy you few pops and amongst other things….hard work, determination.
I would have laughed like I was watching an old Dave Chapelle skit if the comments were shut off on this article. Totally a missed opportunity there.
Without knowing what was said, we can’t know if it really happened. News media these days is so breathless in making accusations, giving you their slanted judgement and labels, without any evidence to back it up. Everyone just gobbles up the idea that a racist attack occurred, without being told what actually happened. Reality is usually much different, with many people who have categorized themselves as “racialized” interpreting any sort of critique as racism.
Public figures will be criticized and scrutinized, even if they aren’t white. Being non-white doesn’t mean you won’t get criticism, whether justified or not. Welcome to the reality of being high-profile, especially in such a politically directed position. You can be the most magical and righteous person who has ever filled the position, and still, not everyone is gonna like ya.
A rarely examined fact is that in a story like this one, some have the power to amplify their interpretations and understandings and others have no power. Mary has a considerable ability to shape our perceptions, and so does this news source. That does not necessarily make them liars, but it gives them enormous leverage over what we think happened, without (in this case, as you’ve pointed out) ever letting us in on the process of discerning for ourselves.
You are bang on when you say the media reflexively makes accusations, or amplifies them, of racism, misogyny… *insert bad word here*. Again, this does not mean those things don’t exist, or that they do not apply, but we can’t always know for sure, and it should not surprise anyone that people become suspect when the frequency of claims like this goes parabolic, as it has in the last 2 to 3 years.
Nunatsiaq News, any time your journalists invoke a statistical claim they shøuld provide a link to the research (at the very least a citation). I say this because according to PEW research (a non partisan research group–google it) “men are somewhat more likely than women to experience harassment online.”
Weird eh? Now I know PEW does not have the towering reputation of the Toronto Metropolitan University, but they do a lot of statistics and are well respected.
Journalists are story tellers, that is their skill and what they do. They are not scientists or researchers. Good journalism demands and takes balance seriously, mediocre journalism seldom burdens itself with balanced analysis. Being aware that Nunatsiaq is especially encouraging to this style of ‘journalism’ is something every reader of this publication needs to be aware of.
I’ve never heard of Toronto Metropolitan University before, but when you gotta reach, you reach.
Think a rebranded and modernized Ryerson Polytechnic. If you’re old enough you remember their advertising matchbooks and clip-out send for information request forms in comic books.
Ryerson, nice… that actually says it all. LOL
You took one stat out of the bunch and fooled some fools Read the last line, “Overall, 11% of women have specifically been harassed because of their gender, compared with 5% of men.” The harassment is different too, more personal when women are concerned.
Then there is the implied dehumanization of non white individuals, which I am confident has everything to do with the story.
Hey Brian, apparently, we are both cherry picking?
Or, maybe I am being more specific than you?
Here’s what Nunatsiaq wrote: “Women, especially those from visible minorities, are disproportionately targets of abuse in politics.” (Surely this means on social media?)
My argument: this is not supported by the research.
Here is what PEW says: “Overall, men are somewhat more likely than women to say they have experienced any form of harassment online (43% vs. 38%).”
PEW also: “While men are somewhat more likely than women to experience harassment online, women are more likely to be upset about it.” – Does this explain your claim that harassment is “more personal when women are concerned.” Is your point that women take it more personally?
I don’t see anything that implies the dehumanization of non-White people. I’d like to know more. Can you point me to it?
No he can’t point you to it because it is not there. He made it up.
What about the $40,000 raise she gave herself in the middle of the pandemic?
The Governor General does NOT give herself a pay raise. Get your facts straight.
It is mandated by law.
This was a 13% increase for a three-year period I believe.
Can we guess which party these people support that are commenting all these terrible things.
It seems to be getting worse.
The gross Americans are trying to influence ignorant Canadians.
Build a wall between US and Canada!
The cons and the ultra right wings, the same ones that support the truckers convoy.
These crazy right wingers have all kinds of crazy conspiracies theories.
Extra voicetrous, threatening and aggressive. Lots of american influence.
Insightful analysis. Please tell us where you went to university? I want to send my child there.
Ryerso…. err, Toronto Metropolitan University!
Let me guess your a right winger lol.
Defining people as left or right is way too limiting a lense. Most people views are too complex to be deeply understood in that way.
You’re not your.
You know it would be newsworthy if the GG abandoned all social media but this…ya.
The salary increase sucks but so do the expensive, no benefit, jet travel junkets with her entourage. Eliminate the position and save taxpayer dollars. Nothing to do with her race or sex.
I don’t like the pay increase either but if you think that makes abuse ok then you’re pretty gross.
I don’t think it makes it OK, but I’m also realistic in thinking that if you take a weeklong trip that costs the taxpayer $1 million, including $100,000 just on airplane food alone, that maybe some vitriolic backlash will happen.
Right, and an easy clapback is to yell raycist and misogynist.
It can and does happen.
I don’t think Mary is that manipulative and I am sure there is truth to what she says. Yet the media makes or amplifies accusations like this so frequently today its difficult not to be skeptical.
Okay, when I read the headline my immediate thought was “Why is she publicly making abusive, misogynistic, and racist” posts? Had to re-read it a few times.
I guess that is how her status has fallen in my mind – that I immediately assume that she is the one doing it. Either that or the morning caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet.
Good morning. A few points of my opinions
1. While I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion on the need for the GG position.
2. No one is deserving of Insults, threats or disrespectful comments from those who hide behind anonymous posts.
so to GG Simon: Thank you for your Service.
Why do people think it’s okay to abuse and threaten public figureheads? It is not okay and should not be tolerated. I think no one should be allowed to post anonymously. If you have a valid disagreement, reach out to the office officially, not through Facebook or othe social media,methods
Abuse and threats are not ok, but why not criticism? Open respectful debate is something social media is good for. A message to a leader/figurehead’s office gets no oxygen, can be easily disappeared.
In case you’ve been under a rock all along, social media is filled with hate and jealousy. Some people do not seem to care that their name is being linked to these posts, or may not realize the long-term ills of doing so. Sadly in Nunavut it seems to be accepted due to lack of staff; and the same people we see making drunken death threats on facebook are driving our sewage trucks the next day.
Threats are never acceptable Helen. It brings me back to last year when a local elder implied that physical harm by way of firearm may come to those who pass along a shoreline too close to a particular cabin unannounced or when inconvenient to the cabins owner.
Suggest you get your facts straight, anonymous one.
Gaah! all of you(s) still nasty, jealousy typical people!
Making extra uncomfortable comments to our first Inuk Indigenous Governor General, why don’t you all try to take her hard working efforts and help our Government instead.
I still applause our first Inuk Governor General, pisitiuvutit Paniik…
These right wingers, especially the ultra right are scary and plain weird, so aggressive and full of hate, when you don’t agree with them they attack and spew all kinds of disinformation and hate.
So much influence from the US for a long time now, hopefully with better education people will see through all of this.
You could easily switch left-wingers for right-wingers here and it would be even more true.
There is a serious problem that has been growing the last 20 years here in Canada, with ultra right wing groups spreading their ideology filled with hate and fear.
Most of the terrorist attacks and hate crimes that happen in Canada come from these ultra right groups.
A lot of influencers from the states and with social media so much disinformation being spewed.
I am not surprised the GG is getting attacked, most liberal MPs ministers mostly female are getting attacked constantly by these groups and individuals.
Let’s hope our society steps up and keep these crazy right wingers out, the Cons leader makes me cringe every time he speaks, he just oozes those crazy right wingers ideologies full of misinformation based of fear.
These comments are what is wrong with our society. Here you have a position that does absolutely nothing to better our society, sucking up tax payor money, and people actually defend it. We’re lost.