Mary Simon’s office closes social media commenting over ‘abusive, misogynistic and racist’ posts

Also cites violent threats online it says were hurtful to governor general and her staff

The Office of Governor General Mary Simon stated it removed the ability to comment on her social media accounts because of a growing number of abusive comments. The growth in abusive comments has been hurtful to Simon, her staff and people who engage on the social media accounts, her office stated in an email. (Photo courtesy of the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General)

By David Lochead

The office of Governor General Mary Simon has shut off all commenting on her social media accounts over a growing number of abusive comments, including a rise in “violent threats.”

“In recent months we have witnessed an increase in abusive, misogynistic and racist engagement on social media and online platforms, including a greater number of violent threats,” according to a news release from Simon’s office, posted online.

Simon, an Inuk who was born in Kangiqsualujjuaq, became governor general of Canada in 2021 and is the first Indigenous person in the role.

Her office indicated commenting on social media posts is being removed so people can engage with the information on the office’s social media in “an environment that is respectful to all.”

An emailed statement to Nunatsiaq News from Simon’s office said the comments have been hurtful to Simon herself, staff members who monitor the accounts and to people who engage with the social media accounts.

The response didn’t elaborate on the nature or target of any threats that were made, or whether Simon’s office had passed the information on to police.

Women, especially those from visible minorities, are disproportionately targets of abuse in politics, Toronto Metropolitan University department of politics and public administration professor Tracey Raney stated in a post from the Government of Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in 2022.


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(14) Comments:

  1. Posted by We’re hurting on

    hmm, maybe it has something to do with the ridiculous salary raise you were given without merit while the rest of Canada can barely afford groceries.

    • Posted by Yuval on

      It might, but we can’t accept that as an excuse for abuse.

      On the other hand I agree with the comment below in that we can’t really see what was said so we are at the mercy of the interpretations of people who make a living crying misogyny and racism at every turn.

  2. Posted by Missed opportunity. on

    I would have laughed like I was watching an old Dave Chapelle skit if the comments were shut off on this article. Totally a missed opportunity there.

  3. Posted by Thicker skin on

    Without knowing what was said, we can’t know if it really happened. News media these days is so breathless in making accusations, giving you their slanted judgement and labels, without any evidence to back it up. Everyone just gobbles up the idea that a racist attack occurred, without being told what actually happened. Reality is usually much different, with many people who have categorized themselves as “racialized” interpreting any sort of critique as racism.

    Public figures will be criticized and scrutinized, even if they aren’t white. Being non-white doesn’t mean you won’t get criticism, whether justified or not. Welcome to the reality of being high-profile, especially in such a politically directed position. You can be the most magical and righteous person who has ever filled the position, and still, not everyone is gonna like ya.

  4. Posted by Pewtie on

    Nunatsiaq News, any time your journalists invoke a statistical claim they shøuld provide a link to the research (at the very least a citation). I say this because according to PEW research (a non partisan research group–google it) “men are somewhat more likely than women to experience harassment online.”

    Weird eh? Now I know PEW does not have the towering reputation of the Toronto Metropolitan University, but they do a lot of statistics and are well respected.


    • Posted by JoJo Rabbit on

      Journalists are story tellers, that is their skill and what they do. They are not scientists or researchers. Good journalism demands and takes balance seriously, mediocre journalism seldom burdens itself with balanced analysis. Being aware that Nunatsiaq is especially encouraging to this style of ‘journalism’ is something every reader of this publication needs to be aware of.

      I’ve never heard of Toronto Metropolitan University before, but when you gotta reach, you reach.

      • Posted by They Used to Be Ryerson on

        Think a rebranded and modernized Ryerson Polytechnic. If you’re old enough you remember their advertising matchbooks and clip-out send for information request forms in comic books.

  5. Posted by 867 on

    What about the $40,000 raise she gave herself in the middle of the pandemic?

  6. Posted by Peter on

    Can we guess which party these people support that are commenting all these terrible things.
    It seems to be getting worse.

    • Posted by Republicans on

      The gross Americans are trying to influence ignorant Canadians.
      Build a wall between US and Canada!

  7. Posted by Newsworthy on

    You know it would be newsworthy if the GG abandoned all social media but this…ya.

  8. Posted by Larry on

    The salary increase sucks but so do the expensive, no benefit, jet travel junkets with her entourage. Eliminate the position and save taxpayer dollars. Nothing to do with her race or sex.

  9. Posted by John K on

    I don’t like the pay increase either but if you think that makes abuse ok then you’re pretty gross.

  10. Posted by Perhaps Not Yet Awake on

    Okay, when I read the headline my immediate thought was “Why is she publicly making abusive, misogynistic, and racist” posts? Had to re-read it a few times.

    I guess that is how her status has fallen in my mind – that I immediately assume that she is the one doing it. Either that or the morning caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet.

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