As polls close tonight in Nova Scotia at 8:30 p.m., 140 characters can land you in a world of trouble.
Elections Canada is reminding social media users that premature reporting of election results is against the law.
Section 329 of the Elections Act prohibits the transmission of 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.”
In other words, you’re prohibited from posting results from Nova Scotia while the polls are still open in central and western Canada.
The ban is much more pressing in an age when journalists and the public break and react to news on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
CBC reporter and blogger Kady O’Malley said she fully expects people will break the ban, which could result in a fine of up to $25,000.
“I think it’s going to be increasingly difficult for us, for the people who have to be on air, knowing the reality that many people listening … probably already have the answers and aren’t as interested in the speculation,” she said yesterday.