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Trust in Government

Trust is an essential component of well-functioning democracies and strong public institutions. It is needed for governments to possess the legitimacy to lead, govern, and respond to important challenges. In recent years, citizen trust in government and the use of social media platforms as channels to communicate with Canadians have become the subject of study. What can social media data tell us to better understand the characteristics and changing nature of trust? This summary report presents the findings from a study which examined citizen trust through the lens of social media, using a unique Artificial Intelligence (AI) model which tracked and interpreted Twitter data from December 2020 to December 2022.

The purpose of the study was to measure trust in several ways – over time, by ‘component’ of trust, across discrete policy areas, and along the ideological spectrum. Rich findings emerged from each of these lines of inquiry.