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Tweeting about the election? Prepare for backlash

NDP Leader Jack Layton talks with reporters outside his campaign bus after an event in Kitchener, Ont. on Tuesday, March 29, 2011.

Andrew Vaughan/Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

#breastfeeding #schoollunches #pottytraining #kidssaythedarndestthings #elxn41

One of these things is not like the other.

It doesn't matter which community you belong to on Twitter - parenting, tech geek, feminist, foodie, the list goes on - chances are, election talk has infiltrated your Twitter stream.

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Since Saturday, when Governor-General David Johnston dropped the writ of election, Twitter has started to look more like CPAC with constant chatter around federal politics. The hashtags #elxn41 (that's "election 41" for the uninitiated) and #cdnpoli ("Canadian politics") have taken some of the spotlight off of Twitter's usual suspects (including #justinbieber).

Last year, we had the Shaved Bieber app, which purged references to the teen pop star from the Internet for a user. Would it be so much of a stretch for something similar for the federal election to appear? There's no question about demand.

"Any way to make all political tweets just disappear until after the election? Separtists, socialists or conservatives? Pretty bleak," tweeted user @tdotsports1earlier this week.

Another, @agrabia, wrote, "I'm already sick of election tweets."

Some have been so irritated by the #elxn41 talk that they've unfollowed some of the worst offenders on their lists.

"Dear #cdnpoli #elxn41 reporters. No offence, but your nonstop tweets are on full overload now. I've gotta unfollow until the campaign wraps," tweeted @gregobr.

Those who wish to fully shield themselves also have the option of "muting" certain users or terms from their feed, including the aforementioned hashtags and the names of the federal parties. We're guessing Twalala.com and Muuter.com may be getting extra business in the next month.

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Sensing the push back against election talk, some of the #elxn41 users and abusers have asked for forgiveness from their followers - especially the ones that live south of the 49th parallel.

@BillZBub wrote, "Warning to my American followers: I'm gonna have a whole lot of tweets re: Canadian politics until this new election is done."

But who's to say the politically focused Twitter talk will die down after May 2? If we learned anything from another big social media election in recent history - the Toronto mayoral race - election musings reached fever pitch after the polls closed.

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About the Author

Dakshana Bascaramurty is a national news reporter who writes about race and ethnicity. She won a 2013 National Newspaper Award in beat reporting for her coverage of changing demographics in the 905 region. Previously, she was a feature writer for Globe Life. More

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