Friday, October 2, 2015

How social media took out Vic Toews

Here's how social media was used to take out one sanctimonious Canadian politician.  I love this story.

Vic Toews was the Canadian Minister of Public Safety in Stephen Harper's Conservative Party government until he resigned on July 8, 2013. The year before, Toews had introduced the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act (also known as Bill C-30).  Bill C-30 was widely seen as introducing American-style warrantless surveillance to Canada.   In defending the bill, Vic Toews made the repugnant statement that people "can either stand with us or with the child pornographers."

In other words, "If you aren't a pornographer, you've nothing to fear."  The insinuation: "if you protest our surveillance bill, you might be suspected of viewing child porn"

And there's the logical fallacy: "if you've done nothing wrong, you have no reason to protect your privacy."

Public response to that statement, and protest of Bill C-30, was immediate. And within days, someone using an anonymous Twitter account began posting personal information of the court proceedings during Toews' divorce from his wife of 30 years, Lorraine Kathleen Fehr, after she discovered that he had fathered a child with their underage babysitter. All of the information posted was already on the public record, filed with the Court of Queen's Bench of Manitoba, but posting in on Twitter was a violation of his privacy; true ... and it was a perfect use of irony to disprove Toews' claim that people who have done nothing wrong should have no expectation of privacy.

Toews later denied that he made the "child pornographers" reference, despite his comments being available on video. In February 2013 the government announced Bill C-30 would be scrapped entirely, Vic Toews resigned from his position on July 8th of that year, and retired from politics.

Do you think the mainstream media would've revealed the hypocrisy underlying Vic Toews' claim that no Canadian is entitled to a private life? 

Social media brought this one down.  He got what he deserved.