Did Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pass the "Digital Existence Act" in response to the spread of a new COVID variant, helping Canada to transition to Digital ID, Central Bank Digital Currency and a Social Credit system? No, that's not true: This post originated from a parody account. The format of the screenshot partially obscures the parody account name, making this post appear to have come from his account. Trudeau did not post this on the social media platform X, and there is no bill by this name.
The parody post was made by @Trudeaus_Ego and posted on X, formerly called Twitter, on August 24, 2023, (archived here). A screenshot of that post was posted on Instagram on August 29, 2023, by @truth.be.told.2. It was captioned:
DO NOT COMPLY...
The text of the parody tweet in the screenshot reads:
Justin Trude... @Trude... Aug 24
The Eris variant is spreading across the globe, and my Government is ready to act.
That's why we're passing the "Digital Existence Act".
This law will keep Canadians safe by expediting the transition to Digital ID, Central Bank Digital Currency, and a Social Credit system.
This is how the post appeared on Instagram at the time of writing:
(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Tue Sep 05 14:13:10 2023 UTC)
The photo used for this tweet was from a March 3, 2022, news conference at Bayview Yards in Ottawa, Canada. Pictured are Isabelle Hudon, the president and CEO of the Business Development Bank of Canada, Trudeau and Mary Ng, then-minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development. The program that was introduced was called the "Canada Digital Adoption Program." This is a grant program to help qualifying Canadian businesses boost their business technology and grow their businesses online.
The program named in the parody post, the "Digital Existence Act," does not exist. A search of the prime minister's website through the onsite search tool and through Google did not produce any results, nor does a search of the Parliament of Canada website.
The screenshot of the parody tweet features a blue checkmark. The image below shows how the X accounts of Justin Trudeau and the parody account, Justin Trudeau's Ego, appear in a search on X.
(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Tue Sep 05 16:29:16 2023 UTC)
Both are using the same profile photo, but the real Trudeau has a gray checkmark representing a government official, while the parody account has a blue checkmark, which means it has an active subscription to X Premium. An article on the X Help Center explains the differences between the various checkmarks. A November 12, 2022, article in Business Insider addresses the main concern about a paid verification model:
At pre-Musk Twitter, the blue checkmark was used 'to indicate active, notable, and authentic accounts of public interest that Twitter had independently verified based on certain requirements,' according to the company's website.
But almost immediately after the takeover, reports emerged that Musk was considering a new paid-verification model through Twitter Blue, which would allow anyone to become verified if they paid a monthly fee.