Canada Tweeters Defy Ban on Reporting Results
Twitter users say law is archaic in electronic age
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 3, 2011 5:37 PM CDT
Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during a press conference following his majority government win in the federal election.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – In Canada, reporting election results before the last polls close can result in a $26,000 fine—but this year, Twitter users threw caution to the wind. At first, some used code to hint at results, referring, for example, to the New Democrats’ orange color: “My orange soda is fizzy,” noted one tweet with the hash tag “#notaresult.” Another wondered: “If I used to have three oranges, and someone gave me four more oranges, would I go to jail?”

But half an hour later, posts were openly reporting results, Reuters notes. “Stopping the flow is like plugging a broken damn with paper towel,” tweeted one user. "Canadians have given Elections Canada the middle finger," added another. Twitter prosecutions appear unlikely: “We're not monitoring it,” said an EC spokesperson. Adding to the debate: The CBC accidentally began reporting results from the east early, notes the Toronto Globe and Mail. Coverage was up four minutes before CBC pulled it and apologized.