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When Instagram influencers are paid to get political...

A GO Train operated by Metrolinx on the Lakeshore line in Burlington, Ont., February 18, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Stephen C. Host

In today’s Big Story podcast, in their Instagram ads, these hip, young city dwellers are overjoyed at the idea of a new transit line connecting them with neighbourhoods they’ve yet to visit. They’re excited for new transit options and they’re eager to tell you about it. That’s because they’re getting paid. The posts are sponsored by Metrolinx, an Ontario crown corporation, to endorse the controversial new Ontario Line, which would cut through some of Toronto’s East End neighbourhoods.

The ads generated a firestorm last week, and some of them have since been taken down by the influencers. But the strategy raises a bigger question: How different is the influencer economy from traditional media when it comes to political ads? What kind of disclaimers should these ads carry? Are they working? And what comes next—for both the ads and the Ontario Line?

GUEST: Ben Spurr, transportation reporter, Toronto Star

You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google and Spotify

You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.

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Go Transit as a service is becoming more and more of a failure.
The past 20 years the service has went from basic and affordable, to expensive and they try to make everything look pretty. My Go Train costs from 2004 to today went from $169 a month to $320 plus a month.
And they can’t even get the diesel to work proper, who thinks the all electirc pipe dream will work any better

December 03, 2019 at 7:50 am

The lines between paid sponsored posts and paid influencer posts on Instagram is blurred. It’s up to Facebook Inc., the owners and operators of Instagram, to tighten up the rules. People deserve to know the true source of what they’re reading and looking at. More dumbing down of stuff to attract the masses.

December 03, 2019 at 12:12 pm
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