Hockey games. The Oscars. Obama’s Inauguration. The Grammys. The Olympics. The Royal Wedding.
These are all examples of events that are being “live-Tweeted” as they are going on by thousands of people all over the world as they watch them unfold on TV.
Twitter has become an amazing communication and connection tool that works in real time. For many of these major events, people all over the world connect with each other and have conversations about what they see going on on their screens in their own living rooms. From the dresses at the Oscars to the fascinators at the Royal Wedding, to despair when your favorite hockey team loses the game, there is a constant stream of chatter on Twitter during these events.
For me, it enhances my experience of watching the event, because it makes it so much more fun.
Today is election day here in Canada. And, according to a law that has been on the books for a long time, if you live in Eastern Canada, you are not allowed to Tweet about results in your riding until the polls close in BC, although since staggered polling has been introduced, there is much less of a chance that will happen.
This law, Section 329 of the Elections Canada Act, was brought into place because of fear of influencing the vote. For example, if British Columbians saw that there was a bandwagon coming out of the east, they may be tempted to jump on it, and cast their vote in that direction, or choose not to vote at all.
However, in this day of instant communication, it seems impossible to stop. Furthermore, social media has been a huge part of influencing the vote this election campaign.
Still, in 2000, a Vancouver blogger was fined $1000 for posting election results from Atlantic Canada, according to a Vancouver Sun article. In a follow up story done with the CBC, Paul Bryan says he won’t defy the law this year.
The law is archaic, but it’s still on the books.
There is a movement afoot on Twitter to defy the law and Tweet about election results. I certainly won’t tell you to break the law, but I will say that if I see something that I think is Twitter-worthy today or tonight, I will Tweet it, law or no law.
If you are Tweeting about the election, please use the hashtag #ELXN41 and if you have room, #ArtsVoteCan.
If you use the hashtag #TweetTheResults, your tweet will be aggregated and appear on the website http://tweettheresults.ca/ created by @darrenbarefoot
If you don’t tweet, or if you do, make sure you get out and cast your vote, because it’s important, and every vote counts!