An article published by online publication Blacklock’s Reporter said Hadfield’s performances during his recent mission were the result “of a three-year marketing campaign complete with CBC collaboration and occasional tweets ghostwritten by government employees.”
The article in question, titled ‘Spaceman Had Ghostwriters,’ listed specific events, such as a “publicity move” where Canadian actor William Shatner called Hadfield in space. It also lists specific “ghostwritten messages.” The examples given in the article related to tweets about Canada’s new $5 bill, the Montreal Canadiens, and a conversation between @CalgaryStampede and Hadfield’s account.
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Communication manager at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Anna Kapiniari, said in the article she “sent him a handful” of tweets.
“I can think of four or five where they were related to an event,” she said, adding they were only suggestions to Hadfield.
Evan, who helped run his father’s social media during the mission, addressed several of the article’s statements in a blog post.
“One tweet out of 5,000 does not make his effort simply a preplanned part of a ‘three-year marketing campaign,’” he wrote, later adding that he convinced his dad to set up his Twitter account and helped him set up other social media accounts.
Evan also took issue with the claim that “publicists spent months arranging stunts for Hadfield.”
“That which was planned… was done so without any secret intent. At no point was it in any way unclear that there were people on the ground helping him to execute those events.”
Hadfield retired from the CSA in early July, and he has signed a two-book agreement with Random House Canada.