Social media face strict election night rules
Posted: Apr 20, 2011 7:32 PM ET
Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 7:32 PM ETBack to accessibility links
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Facebook and Twitter users are being advised by Elections Canada to use caution on election day when communicating and posting voting results on May 2.
In every vote, strict rules prevent any instance of what Elections Canada calls "premature transmission of results" until the last polls have closed in every electoral district in the country.
"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," Elections Canada says on its website.
"Social media growth has been very high in this campaign," Grace Lake, a spokesperson for Elections Canada, said on Wednesday.
Under the news rules for this election, "results disseminated to an individual's friends through Facebook's email service would not be considered public transmission," Lake said.
However, using Facebook another way could break the rules, she said.
"Results posted to a Facebook user's wall may be considered public transmission, including in cases where the user's Facebook profile is public," she said.
The same approach would apply to Twitter users, as well, Elections Canada spokesman John Enright told the National Post.
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Federal Election Results
Updated: May. 3, 2011, 3:40 AM EDT
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All results are unofficial until final ballot counts are verified by Elections Canada. CBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.
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