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.

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |