'Tweet-in' to flout Elections Canada blackout law

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oneh2obabe
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'Tweet-in' to flout Elections Canada blackout law

Post by oneh2obabe »

Twitter users are vowing to push back against Elections Canada's ban on tweeting results before the polls close on May 2.

The country's electoral agency issued a warning to social media users this week, reminding them that Section 329 of the Elections Act applies to transmissions made over the internet.

Penalties for violating the act could include a fine of up to $25,000 or up to five years in prison.

Despite the agency's claim that it would be monitoring social media, many say they'll flout what they say is an outdated law.

"I wonder how many people we could get to take part in a 'tweet-in' protest against the election-night Twitter ban," tweeted Ottawa's Peter Raaymakers.

"I'm in," Montreal's Jason Mayoff tweeted.

"We should all tweet on May 2," tweeted Denis Gagnon of Timmins, Ont. "Either we flood the system and [Elections Canada] gets overwhelmed, or we all get fined and end up paying for #elxn41."

Others suggested tweeting election results using code names for the parties, or deliberately tweeting inaccurate results. By Thursday afternoon, the hashtag "#tweettheresults" was in use.

But some were unimpressed with talk of a "tweet-in."

"The 'tweet-in' protest against Election Canada's Twitter ban is stupid," tweeted Devon Peacock of London, Ont. "Just vote and leave it at that."

In its reminder about the transmission ban, Elections Canada said tweeting or posting results on a blog or Facebook wall violate the Elections Act.

Using Facebook's messaging service or emailing results do not.

Elections Canada has hinted it won't be actively monitoring social media for violations of the Elections Act but is bound to investigate any complaints brought to its attention.

The popularity of services such as Twitter mean it's time for the act to change, some say.

"Elections Canada cannot even hope to enforce s329 of the Elections Act... in the age of Twitter," National Citizens Coalition director and blogger Stephen Taylor tweeted Wednesday.

"Elections Act must be changed to remove s329 or to close polls across country at the same moment."

Changing the way polls are organized was a common suggestion.

"I don't get why they don't do more to align the polls across the provinces," tweeted Toronto's Ryan Coleman. "Open later east, close earlier west."

In 2006, the ban led some U.S. political bloggers to publish election results, skirting the law.
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Re: 'Tweet-in' to flout Elections Canada blackout law

Post by grammafreddy »

Maybe Elections Canada should just keep all voting results quiet until they can start releasing BC voting results. That would fix those little Tweeter's fingers. They'd be tweet-less.
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Re: 'Tweet-in' to flout Elections Canada blackout law

Post by oneh2obabe »

:coffeecanuck: Logic? Common sense? Can we expect that from government?
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Re: 'Tweet-in' to flout Elections Canada blackout law

Post by grammafreddy »

The people in Newfieland would be ticked off though. If the polls are open until 8 pm here, that's 11 pm Eastern plus a half hour later in Newfoundland for them. Don't fishermen go to bed early?
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Re: 'Tweet-in' to flout Elections Canada blackout law

Post by daria »

They can read about it in the morning paper (unless that gets delivered after they're out on the boats!).
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Re: 'Tweet-in' to flout Elections Canada blackout law

Post by grammafreddy »

And if they are out in their boats before the paper comes out, they can watch it on CBC News at dinner time - a half hour later in Newfoundland :D
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Re: 'Tweet-in' to flout Elections Canada blackout law

Post by JLives »

grammafreddy wrote:Maybe Elections Canada should just keep all voting results quiet until they can start releasing BC voting results. That would fix those little Tweeter's fingers. They'd be tweet-less.


Agreed. Let's wait until the entire country has voted.
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Re: 'Tweet-in' to flout Elections Canada blackout law

Post by grammafreddy »

Now ... why can't Elections Canada solve their little problem as fast as we just solved it for them ...???
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Re: 'Tweet-in' to flout Elections Canada blackout law

Post by NAB »

grammafreddy wrote:Now ... why can't Elections Canada solve their little problem as fast as we just solved it for them ...???



What, and spoil all the riding parties?? That's one of the highlights of elections, the workers getting together with their candidate, sucking back a few, and experiencing the excitement as the poll results gradually roll in LOL.

But I agree, only two solutions. Keep the results secret until the BC polls close, or we could form an on line group to monitor, document, and submit a complaint against anyone who tweets or twitters or posts illegally before the BC polls close. I seem to recall a report this morning that suggested anyone doing that could be charged, and the penalty could be something like a $25,000.00 fine and/or significant jail time.

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Re: 'Tweet-in' to flout Elections Canada blackout law

Post by oneh2obabe »

Penalties for violating the act could include a fine of up to $25,000 or up to five years in prison.

Don't begrudge the winners celebrating but it would be nice to keep results in different parts of the Canada quiet until our polls close. Doubt the national news agency would even consider it.
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Re: 'Tweet-in' to flout Elections Canada blackout law

Post by Urbane »

With the technology such as it is now it's simply unrealistic to enforce this law as long as results are released anywhere. Personally, I don't think it's a big deal if people in BC know how Newfoundlanders voted before our polls close. Remember the election, a couple of elections back, when there was no blackout? I was surprised to find that we knew very few results elsewhere by the time our polls closed. However, if it is a big deal then just don't release the results until BC polls close.
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Re: 'Tweet-in' to flout Elections Canada blackout law

Post by twobits »

Adjusting poll closings or withholding results is the only solution. Twitter and facebook did not create this problem. Over twenty years ago I was watching election reults at 5 pm PST via eastern feeds on my satellite dish. Letterman at 8:30, bed at 9:30 lol.
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