Background In 2014, a Twitter discussion of seal hunting, using the hashtag #sealfie, spurred a digital conflict between two rights movements-Indigenous rights in Canada and animal rights. This digital controversy touches on race, class, and geography. Analysis The hashtag's life on Twitter obscures the two movements' shared challenges: the undeniably neoliberal context consisting of ongoing economic struggles in northern and remote communities, and the continued loss of wildlife habitat. Conclusions and implications The authors analyze the #sealfie Twitter content generated between 2014 and 2017, exploring the tensions between the claims of the Indigenous rights and animal rights movements. They probe the failure of Twitter, and more generally social media, to generate a climate of genuine debate, and they consider how such digital platforms can serve as echo chambers for stereotypes and discriminatory discourse.

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Canadian Journal of Communication
School of Journalism and Communication

Knezevic, I, Pasho, J. (Julie), & Dobson, K. (Kathy). (2018). Seal hunts in Canada and on Twitter: Exploring the tensions between indigenous rights and animal rights with #sealfie. Canadian Journal of Communication, 43(3), 421–439. doi:10.22230/cjc.2017v43n3a3376