Article by Andy Blatchford, National Observer
The federal government is looking to scour social-media platforms to find out what Canadians really think about pot as the country enters its new era of legalized weed.
With only a few weeks to go before the end of recreational marijuana prohibition, Ottawa is seeking an outside contractor to help the government learn more about Canadians’ attitudes and behaviours when it comes to legalized cannabis.
Federal officials want to go deeper than the data they have gleaned from public opinion surveys.
In the process, the government also wants the contractor to capture and explore corresponding individual-level data, including details on the age, sex and location — such as the province or territory — of the social-media users.
The document, posted by Public Safety Canada, calls the approach a form of sentiment analysis — or “opinion mining.”
“Social media data is arguably more unconstrained and rich in detail than self-report survey data,” the notice said.