SAMbot Brampton Election

June 19, 2023
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SAMbot Brampton Election
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This material is part of the Online Abuse in Local Elections: The SAMbot Municipal Report.

Brampton city card with image of friendly robot SAMbot, a map of the city, and the following SAMbot findings: Total Tweets 9,502 ; Accounts Tracked 39 ; Abusive Tweets 2,550 ; Percentage Abusive 27% ; Insults 1,105 Toxic 664 ; Threats 441 ; Sexually Explicit 242 ; Identity Attacks 929

Tracked Accounts: 39 (3 Mayor, 23 Councillor, 13 School Trustee) ; Tracking Period: 65 days: August 20, 2022 at 12:00 a.m. ET to October 24, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. ET

Incumbent Mayor and First-Time Council Candidate Received the Most Identity Attacks

Nearly 10% of all monitored tweets were categorized as identity attacks in the Brampton election.

Over 80% of these identity attacks were directed at just two candidates, incumbent mayoral candidate Patrick Brown and city councillor candidate Jaskaran Sandhu.

Brampton Candidates: Identity Attacks 

It’s important to note that identity attacks identified by SAMbot aren’t necessarily directed at the candidate who receives the tweet - it could be towards other candidates or groups of constituents. In this case, many of the identity attacks received by Brown were directed at Brampton’s South Asian communities - historically, Brown has vocally supported many of the South Asian minority groups that make up Brampton’s population. Many of the identity attacks directed at Sandhu are related to his support for Sikh self-determination in India.

The category of identity attacks is complex because it captures abusive sentiment directed at groups and communities as well as abuse directed at a specific candidate. A function of this category is to shed light on the extent to which abusive rhetoric towards different Canadian identities is showing up in online political conversations.

Below is a selection of real tweets that were received by Brown and Sandhu that SAMbot evaluated as identity attacks. They are shared to illuminate the severity of abuse candidates can experience on the digital campaign trail. Only accounts tracked by SAMbot are presented.

The following tweets include language that is graphic, offensive and potentially traumatizing. We are sharing this content in order to responsibly and accurately convey the full working conditions that municipal candidates confront on the digital campaign trail.

Anonymous tweet: "@patrickbrownont Dirty Indian politics coming to Canada, I doubt anyone else did this but themselves. Trying to tranish others image."
Anonymous tweet: "@JaskaranSandhu_ Canadian People must see what you really are - F#king Terrorist sympathiser, keep your mouth where sun doesn't shine"

Sixty Percent of Tweets Received by First-Time Brampton City Council Candidate Were Abusive

Three out of every five (60%) tweets received by council candidate Jaskaran Sandhu were abusive. He received 853 abusive tweets.

Sandhu is a co-founder of Baaz News, which reports on issues relevant to Canada's Sikh and Punjabi diaspora. He is an advocate for the self-determination of Sikhs in India and a vocal critic of India’s prime minister Narendra Modi's growing authoritarianism.

Brampton Candidates: Proportion of Abusive Tweets Breakdown 

The following candidates received over 100 tweets and are ranked based on their proportion of abusive content.

Incumbent Brampton Mayor Received the Most Abusive Tweets

Mayor Patrick Brown was re-elected in 2022. He received the highest volume of total tweets (4,981) and abusive tweets (1,248)

Second place mayoral candidate Nikki Kaur was not monitored by SAMbot because she did not have a public Twitter account prior to the end of the candidate nomination period.

Top 10 Brampton Candidates: Highest Volume of Tweets

Candidates are ranked based on the volume of total tweets they received.

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This material is part of the Online Abuse in Local Elections: The SAMbot Municipal Report.

How to cite: The Samara Centre for Democracy, Online Abuse in Local Elections: The SAMbot Municipal Report, (Toronto: The Samara Centre for Democracy, 2023),

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