April 30 2011

Canadian Elections and Twitter – #tweettheresults

Posted on the 07:28 am under Internet by Darren Boyer

Are you aware of Section 329 of the Canadian Elections Rules?

In a recent CBC article and television report, CBC warns Canadians about sharing election results over Twitter and social media.

Are you aware of Section 329?

Section 329 was setup to prevent influencing votes across time zones from those districts that have closed.  Canada supports six-time zones, so what happens in the east could have an impact in the west.  Fair enough in a day when communication platforms really did not operate as they do today.

According to section 329 of the Elections Canada Act:

Prohibition – premature transmission of results

329. No person shall transmit the result or purported result of the vote in an electoral district to the public in another electoral district before the close of all of the polling stations in that other electoral district.

Since Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms can not restrict where these online broadcasts are seen, anyone who is found out to have broadcasted election results can be in violation of  the Section 329 clause and maybe subject to fines.

A Vancouver group have started a website for Canadians to tweet their results using a special twitter hashtag.  According to the CBC report, the organizers will not be tweeting themselves but monitoring a special Twitter hashtag #tweetheresults. Read more here.

Right or wrong, social media is playing and will continue to play an increasing role in helping Canadians get real-time information on what is happening in the federal election and throughout their lives. Tune in online or watch it on TV and don’t forget to vote on May 2.


Written by Darren Boyer

Darren Boyer

Darren Boyer is the founder and president of pcit.

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