Elections Canada Warns of $25,000 fine on Voting Day!

May 1, 2011  |  SM Trends

Addicted to tweeting?  Fond of Facebooking?  Better keep your fingers off your phone and your keyboard tomorrow, folks.  Canadians go to the polls May 2nd in one of the most hotly contested elections in history.  And it turns out you could owe Elections Canada $25,000 if you leak the vote results to your buddies out West before their polls close.  No, really.  Check out the 4-1-1… (More…)

Time zones have become a Social Media nightmare for Elections Canada. The government agency that oversees elections in this country is pointing to an ancient law on the books… a ban on broadcasting early election results that dates back to the heyday of radio in the 1930s.  Newspapers cannot update their websites with early results, and broadcasters must stagger their reporting to be sure results go only to parts of the country where the polls have already closed. And yes, anyone who breaks the law could be fined up to 25-grand.

Critics say the ban is unenforceable in 2011 because of the fact that millions of us have access to the internet.  How do you police something like that?   Well, it seems EC won’t be policing it, but will respond to complaints.  And you can bet that all the parties will be keeping a close watch on Twitter and Facebook activity on Monday… ready to launch a complaint in the blink of an eye.

Barack Obama was one of the first politicians to embrace Twitter and Facebook in a big way.  His tweets and FB posts helped him win the 2008 Presidential election. Canadian politicians have jumped on the bandwagon, too.  They’ve been using it throughout the 36 day campaign to get their message to the masses. But not surprisingly, it turns out Social Media is a doubled edged sword.  Could it really throw the election?

Stay tuned.   Oh, and get your Visa card ready just in case.

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