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Which Toronto mayoral candidate rules Twitter?

Posted by Chris Bateman / August 27, 2014

toronto mayoral candidates twitterOwning Twitter won't guarantee election success, but a strong social media presence is certainly a good way to broadcast political messages and display a little personality. This election period, Toronto's big four candidates--David Soknacki, Olivia Chow, John Tory, and Rob Ford--have all used Twitter to broadcast campaign promises, share photographs with supporters, and (occasionally) take swipes at the opposition over differing transit plans.

Here's a look at the leading candidates for Toronto mayor on Twitter.

David Soknacki--@Soknacki2014

Followers: 3,705
Tweets: 1,486
Average daily tweets: 18
Who tweets: David Soknacki (but he likes to tweet personally from @DavidSoknacki,) Supriya Dwivedi (press secretary,) Brian Kelcey (campaign manager,) and Jonathan Scott (communications volunteer.)

Soknacki's official twitter account has recently been soliciting donations and retweeting messages of support. At their best, Team Soknacki broadcasts slick graphs and videos. Of all the candidates, Soknacki seems the most willing to engage with internet users, hosting a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), responding to tweets, and even buying up domain names for people who misspell his last name. Grade: A

Olivia Chow--@oliviachow

Followers: 56,800
Tweets: 5,080
Average daily tweets: 7
Who tweets: Chow likes to tweet herself, though occasionally a staffer will take the controls, says Eiman Zarrug, press secretary.

Olivia Chow's campaign account benefits from a number of followers gained during its owner's stint as MP for Trinity--Spadina, giving it double the number of John Tory's account. Chow typically tweets photos of supporters and pictures from official appearances but there is little personality on display. Right now, it's all about transit maps. Grade: B

John Tory--@johntoryto

Followers: 25,900
Tweets: 7,161
Average daily tweets: 9
Who tweets: The campaign declined to release detailed information related to its Twitter account, but did confirm the output comes from Tory and various volunteers.

Tory's team likes to tweet photos of supporters, transit maps, and the occasional campaign message. It's carefully curated, if a little bland and repetitive--lots of "thank-yous," "great seeing yous," and the occasional selfie. Grade: B

Rob Ford--@2014MayorFord

Followers: 1,145
Tweets: 158
Average daily tweets: 2
Who tweets: It's not clear (the campaign didn't respond to our enquiries) though it appears to be a joint effort by the campaign team. The account description implies that Ford himself has little to do with the output.

The Ford 2014 account, much like the mayor's official account over the last few years, is a mechanical mix of retweeted photos, #RespectForTaxpayers rhetoric, and campaign promises. The conversation is entirely one-sided, despite the more popular tweet attracting widespread attention, much of it negative. Grade: D

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Photo from Oliva Chow's Flickr.



Steven / August 27, 2014 at 12:36 am
Rob Ford.
ROB FORD ON CRACK / August 27, 2014 at 03:43 am
MEEEEEEEEEE. Rob freaking Ford now and forever!!
Aaron / August 27, 2014 at 04:22 am
Ford more years.
Sarah Thompson / August 27, 2014 at 06:13 am
Uhm, hello???
Danny / August 27, 2014 at 06:47 am
Most of us don't have the time of day to follow these clowns and their propaganda. Vote October 27th!
Cory / August 27, 2014 at 06:59 am
I am certainly no fan of Ford but if you are going to compare candidates twitter followers to show their reach you should have mentioned that Ford has an account with over 150,000 followers. It seems like the right thing to do. At least you do subtly hint that a large percentage of Olivia's followers are from her past as she is using an old twitter account with followers from several years ago.
WWW / August 27, 2014 at 07:38 am
Any candidates tweet anything about the Iron Sheik?
Candidate / August 27, 2014 at 08:24 am
Follow me to receive my latest propaganda, phto ops, waredrobe and costume changes as well as a weekly apology fory latest bloops and blunders.
Sandro Lisi / August 27, 2014 at 08:26 am
Best place to sell heroin is Twitter; best place to inject Rob Ford is his ass-plump, jiggly & always shakin'!
Lady Sarah Thompson / August 27, 2014 at 08:27 am
I'm the only horse tweeter!
#FordLessCity / August 27, 2014 at 08:29 am
Ban all Fords!
JACOB / August 27, 2014 at 08:33 am
"Owning Twitter won't guarantee election success, but a strong social media presence is certainly a good way to broadcast political messages and display a little personality." EXCEPT if your name is Olivia Chow. Olivia started out as the front runner and has the greatest amount of followers but since showing her personality
JACOB / August 27, 2014 at 08:37 am
...but since showing her petsonality, mistakes, appologies and blatant photo ops shes behind in the race, shes losing followers and loosing volunteers. The only thing shes winning right now is that mayoral tuna can art thing at the CNE.
Warren K volunteer / August 27, 2014 at 08:41 am
Does anyone know if we can bash the other candidates on twitter?
Who tweets / August 27, 2014 at 08:46 am
Chow likes to tweet herself, though occasionally a staffer like Warren Kinsella will tweet at candidates as well.
Rob Ford / August 27, 2014 at 10:13 am
I use twitter to buy heroin & crack. Is that wrong?
Mayor Tom Ford / August 27, 2014 at 10:17 am
You missed a rather significant candidate so I'll fill in your dear readers.

Followers: 960
Tweets: 1,064
Average daily tweets: 3
Who tweets: MayorTomFordTO of course.

Internationally celebrated fashion magnate, style icon, and certified hedonist Tom Ford seems to have put his multi-million dollar clothing line on the backburner as he concentrates on a run for Toronto's mayoralty.
Ford typically tweets about the policies he hopes to legislate as Mayor, including tearing down the Gardiner in favour of a 4.5km-wide flagship store, increasing the police budget to aid helpless victims of fashion crimes, and the occasional offer of a bespoke suit for fellow candidates willing to leave the race. (Editor's Note: Calls to Karen Stintz on this topic were not returned).
Grade: B
Charles McVety / August 27, 2014 at 10:17 am
I use twitter to anonymously support the anti-gay candidate Rob Ford! Rob's also anti-ecology and anti-Darwin, just like me! I'm also anti-semitic & Rob is a dear, dear friend.
Rob Ford / August 27, 2014 at 10:19 am
Hi Charlie! Don't blow my cover!
Amy replying to a comment from Charles McVety / August 27, 2014 at 10:46 am
Stay in reality here with us. True facts are being presenting in the comments not sure why you need to make up fiction. The mayoral race has enough going on you don't need to make things up.
Mike / August 27, 2014 at 11:08 am
What about @ThomsonTO - that account is pure performance art. Her photos of "enthusiastic supporters" challenge commonly held assumptions of both "enthusiasm" and "support."
martin givens / August 27, 2014 at 11:33 am
OlivesTO / August 27, 2014 at 11:40 am
I'd like to see the grade Ari Goldkind would get if he was included in this article. I think he'd likely get an A.
vonfunk / August 27, 2014 at 11:53 am
While I do think Thomson is a fringe candidate, and feel most of her platform is pandering and unrealistic. Given her Twitter following she should be on this list, she is clearly winning when it comes to twitter.
randy / August 27, 2014 at 12:35 pm
Come on folks, are you that naive? These candidates are told what to tweet. Just like any politicians in this country. I'm still surprised at the gullible electorate.

Stick to the issues which affect us all, like the homeless situation, which we have been hearing for the last 3 decades and the tax base, which has been shifted form the elite, to the working poor.
amy, dear / August 27, 2014 at 01:24 pm
It's not fiction, just a little hyperbole, to wit, Ford marching with McVety. All in the post are McVety "positions". Just a little guilt by association for Fordnation, for a change.
The winner is... / August 27, 2014 at 01:34 pm
And the winner of the single most defining tweet of the campaign goes to...

Olivia Chows camp for a ridiculous segregation tweet sent from Warren Kinsella to John Tory. Google it.
amy replying to a comment from amy, dear / August 27, 2014 at 01:42 pm
Speaking like your Charles McVety and saying that he's using a false twitter account is fiction.
Randy / August 27, 2014 at 01:47 pm
If only we canadians would pay attention to the real issues. Who cares who tweets what? Now we have Burger King coming to a theatre near you to create more 11 dollar an hour jobs. Remember that on voting day.

Ford, Wong and any of those other Wrongs, tweet what they're told, and form policy that benefits no one but corporation.

Just listening to CTV in its usual nonsense about how smart this Burger King CEO is. It's a joke. He's out there as the front man to sell poison to a gullible population. This kid, like any other CEO, is sociopathic.

So lets talk about the real issues.

Tweetle dee and Teelte dumb.

Iron Sheik replying to a comment from Charles McVety / August 27, 2014 at 01:47 pm
I use twitter to anonymously support the candidate Olivia Chow! Olivia is also anti-reality and anti-listening to people, just like me! I also think my way is the only way and always on the attack of others & Olivia is a dear, dear friend.
The loser is... / August 27, 2014 at 02:10 pm
...Rob Ford! #FordLosesOct27! Because he's a loser! A true bumbaclot!
Randy / August 27, 2014 at 02:12 pm
So Iron Sheik, what's Olivia's answer to the issues I just mentioned? More gun control? Don't we already have some of the toughest gun laws? How about talking of transference of wealth. to the working poor. She is NDP, so shouldn't that be her platform?

Sounds to me like Olivia is looking for a sound bite that will sell her campaign, and it isn't working. More like her campaign is sinking.
amy, dear / August 27, 2014 at 02:12 pm
user-pic was self-evident to everyone but you, amy. Missed the point, didn't you?
Iron Sheik replying to a comment from Randy / August 27, 2014 at 03:07 pm
Olivia and I have a focus on creating jobs for youth in this city. This Burger King deal will bring many new entry level jobs to the workforce that our youth can most surely take action on.
Rob Ford / August 27, 2014 at 03:23 pm
Iron Sheik, you sound stupid enough to be part of my campaign. How about it. And we can wrassle!
Rob Ford / August 27, 2014 at 03:24 pm
What's twitter again? I ferget.
Tweetle Dumb is... / August 27, 2014 at 03:26 pm
...Rob Ford, Neanderthal!
Doug Ford / August 27, 2014 at 03:29 pm
Robdidwhathesaidhewoulddo-nothing! Zing! The end. p s Anyone need a hasbeen former city councillor/label salesman/drug dealer? Available October 28. Willing to start at the top.
Randy / August 27, 2014 at 03:52 pm
Iron Sheik,

I've heard all this before. And as for you the youth in this city, they're angry enough. Is that all we have to offer them, flipping burgers? And from what I've seen, it is usually people of all ages that get stuck in these jobs. No disrespect to the people who do those jobs, but Burger King, along with that sociopathic robot CEO, is not the answer.

Remember, this CEO cut 40% of the work force, which in part, has contributed to their profits. Now they're coming North for the tax breaks. It's all about profits. Nothing wrong with that, but these profit gains, are always at the expense of those who can't afford it.

I believe you're sincere, but if you really want to help the youth, as well as people of all ages in this city, you and Olivia would be promoting financial access for all our youth, as well as job security for people of all ages.

So far, I haven't heard anything about shifting the tax burden back to the way it was decades ago, form any of the candidates.

Randy / August 27, 2014 at 03:59 pm
Iron Sheik,

I meant to say, financial access to education.

At least you and I are having an intelligent conversation. It would be nice if the rest on this blog, would do the same.

Fighting amongst ourselves, only feeds into the political climate. The candidates love it. Lets talk about the real issues facing us. Now that would scare them! And please don't tell me Olivia is!
Irwin Mimico / August 27, 2014 at 04:52 pm
Most voters my age don't have any social media accounts. These numbers don't mean a darn thing come Election Day.
Randy / August 27, 2014 at 05:14 pm
Iron Sheik, is Irwin Mimico a toon?
Randy / August 27, 2014 at 05:26 pm
Seems there's another Randy on here and not a very intelligent one. I'm finished with this blog.

Be careful everyone. When you actually makes sense, they take over your account and discredit you.
Randy / August 27, 2014 at 05:36 pm
We all know who will win on election day.
Iron Sheik / August 27, 2014 at 05:38 pm
Irwin Mimico is an imaginary piece of fluff.
Randy / August 27, 2014 at 05:39 pm
I'm a real winner.
Iron Sheik / August 27, 2014 at 05:41 pm
Rob Ford will win by losing...back to crack 'n whores! #Fordforcrackenwhores!
Randy / August 27, 2014 at 05:55 pm
Iron Sheik,

There are 2 Randys on here. So don't bother responding to any of us. I was enjoying the conversation, but now it's impossible to have one.

Iron Sheik replying to a comment from Randy / August 27, 2014 at 07:00 pm
AGREED looks like someones using my name to. Discussion over.
Randy / August 27, 2014 at 07:37 pm
I am the real Randy!
Iron Sheik / August 27, 2014 at 07:37 pm
I am the real Sheik!
Randy / August 27, 2014 at 07:39 pm
I am drilling more holes in my head, Sheik. What're you doing?
Fred / August 28, 2014 at 12:16 am
Who cares who rules Twitter! Can we get Which Toronto Mayoral candidate rules the road? And feature the cars/vehicles they own.

I know Olivia Chow drives a crossover SUV Chevy Equinox.

"I have a car ... Equinox ... you don't think I can do 10 activities on one day. Do you think I can fly?"
Freds Not Here / August 28, 2014 at 03:48 am
Hopefully he's not. & neither are amoebas Randy, Iron Sheik and Irwin Mimico, microbrains all. Ford's a loser in his Escalade, drugged up brain dead doofus. #FordLowBrowCretin for the LOSS ON OCT. 27!
kn / August 28, 2014 at 08:16 am
Twitter? Do people really need to comment without thinking all of the time??
Rob Ford / August 28, 2014 at 09:31 am
Huh? Wha? Twit-her? I'll twit & jam Karen Stintz anytime when I'm not impotent.
Doug Ford / August 28, 2014 at 09:34 am
No comment on "no comment". Rob's career @ Don Bosco was covered in goose shit! So? So a kid broke his So Rob broke the rules & was banned by those damn catholics. So? So what losers don't care, they still vote Rob when we give 'em $
kn does it ALL the time... / August 28, 2014 at 04:51 pm
...commenting w/o thinking.
Rob Ford / August 29, 2014 at 08:49 pm
I am the gooseshitmayor!
kn replying to a comment from kn does it ALL the time... / August 30, 2014 at 05:56 pm
Have an issue with my comments? I can see you are getting frustrated because Olivia made an idiot out herself talking about public housing on CP24 the other night. Olivia, newsflash, Public housing COOPs are meaningless unless the residents take on responsibilities.

I'm just glad, Olivia is going to be pummelled in this election. People are clueing in that Olivia Chow + TCHC = Billions to rebuild our local ghettos for the poor!!

Warren Kinsella, Olivia's bigoted, self righteous "volunteer" seems to have done a great job using twitter!! Now he's digging a bigger hole by filing a notice of libel cause his little feelings got hurt.
The problem with kn / September 1, 2014 at 07:45 pm
The tensile strength of marshmallows is inversely proportional to the logical construction of cosmetic constructions on the face of Napoleonic urges where I - b = m over ¤¥~.
The problem with kn / September 2, 2014 at 07:50 pm
Capice? Kn=fu
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