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Social Media and Politics

Updated on May 2, 2011
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It’s very interesting to see how social media is impacting the world and how we get our information and knowledge.

Tonight, May 2, 2011, was a political election in Canada.  In the past, results have always been blacked out in your province until your polls were closed, and then we joined in with national coverage.  This is still the way it is, but with social media being worldwide, results were being posted before our polls closed (and those western of us) as the polls in other provinces were already closed.  It was released, via the media, that people who were posting information on the various social media platforms early would potentially face the same fines as the broadcasters.

But really, in such a global world, what do you do?  Obviously for the people who are in an area where the polls are not closed, they could choose to avoid checking their accounts, like people do to avoid spoilers for their favourite TV shows.  But should a person have to do that?  Not only that, you can get time shifting packages for your TV now where you are getting feed from eastern channels where you could potentially tune in to their results.

That all said, I was out this evening until after the polls were closed in the entire country, so I was not able to see how people were doing with keeping the news to themselves. But I know that some of the people that I correspond with on my various media accounts do not necessarily list their locations. So I could be inadvertently giving information to someone who is still being blacked out. Should a person be fined for that?

Beyond that, it is quite interesting to sit back and watch what information people are sharing with others on their accounts. Some people are rejoicing at the results, others are complaining about the results, and others are just sharing information or offering results as seen on tv. Much of the information is contradictory but people are sharing and communicating.

It will be interesting to see how social media affects the future of voting and anything like it which has sensitive information involved.

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