Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: We are all Twitter

77 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 Newer→ Last

  • Idiot Savant,

    But what say 10,000 New Zealand Twitter users wrote flagrantly infringing messages? Or even the same flagrantly infringing message? Who do you charge there? The Electoral Commission is talking tough (see the update at the bottom of Toby's blog post), but exactly what would it do in the face of mass disobedience?

    Realistically, they're screwed - they're just not resourced for that level of infringement, and PRwise its a nightmare. And making noise about it will just encourage people to break the law. Basically, they're just going to have to turn a blind eye, unless political parties organise it (in which case I'm all for prosecutions and jailings; dumbarses are one thing, but deliberately trying to subvert our electoral law so as to gain an unfair advantage by people who should and do know better is quite another).

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1630 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    Basically, they're just going to have to turn a blind eye, unless political parties organise it

    I suspect it's the nature of Twitter that organising masses of identical tweets in support of your party flooding Twitter on election day might be... a tad counter-productive.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4340 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    Not to entirely threadjack, but it's been quite a week for Ryan Giggs and his old red nosed father. First all this superinjunction malarkey, then SAF being caught on mic being an absolute jerk getting a journalist banned from future Manchester Utd press conferences simply for mentioning Giggs' name, and finally a bunch of Catalans putting both of them to the sword in the most public and comprehensive way.

    How the world turns eh?

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 884 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Peter Darlington,

    How the world turns eh?

    How did West Ham go this season?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18716 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    Realistically, they're screwed - they're just not resourced for that level of infringement, and PRwise its a nightmare.

    I'm not so sure. They could just send fines to as many people as they can easily get, targeting people with the most followers, making the most posts, or the most obvious ones. There's nothing that requires that they must catch everyone, if they catch anyone. Send out a thousand fines, drop 900 of the lesser ones with a warning, and take the rest through the court, settling for lesser punishment except in the highest profile and most unrepentant cases.

    I'm not saying they should, just that they could. The PR could be bad, but it's a commission charged with upholding the law, not a political party, so do they really care?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8319 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I suspect it's the nature of Twitter that organising masses of identical tweets in support of your party flooding Twitter on election day might be... a tad counter-productive.

    Politicians and their hacks are too thick to understand a "no circulars" sign on my letterbox; I doubt they're bright enough to understand that people hate spam and will gleefully see spammers buried alive in poisonous spiders (or the equivalent at the ballot box)

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1630 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington, in reply to Russell Brown,

    How did West Ham go this season?

    I can't recall. It was all so long ago...

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 884 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to BenWilson,

    I'm not so sure. They could just send fines to as many people as they can easily get, targeting people with the most followers, making the most posts, or the most obvious ones.

    They could. But it costs money (money to pay lawyers to get user details out of twitter, money to draft letters, money to file cases, money to settle, money to build the courthouses and pay the judges to decide the extra cases for those who won't). And the Electoral Commission doesn't have any. As for the police, we already know that they don't consider breaches of electoral law to be "real crime".

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1630 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to BenWilson,

    I'm not so sure. They could just send fines to as many people as they can easily get, targeting people with the most followers, making the most posts, or the most obvious ones.

    It's not an infringement offence like speeding where they can just fine you.

    They have to issue summonses and bring you before a court.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • Rick Shera,

    We do have High Court and District Court Rules in NZ allowing pre-trial discovery (based on the original UK Norwich Pharmacal orders) and they can be used to discover the name of an alleged infringer (defamation, copyright infringement, illegal bullying etc) from an ISP/host. But,since Twitter does not have a business presence here, those Rules won't help much.

    Can't imagine many people (incl the Electoral Commission) having the wherewithal or inclination to bring an action against Twitter in California to find the ID multiple of pseudonymous tweeters.

    Slightly OT, but this is another area where the US propoals for the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement are of concern. If accepted, those proposals would enable a copyright owner to require an ISP to give up a customer ID based on an allegation alone, without having to go to court at all. Since allegations of copyright infringement are already used for ulterior motives (e.g. to restrict competitors or to gag criticism), it is not hard to imagine such a process being used to gain customer IDs whenever someone has a gripe - legitimate or not.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2008 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Rick Shera,

    We do have High Court and District Court Rules in NZ allowing pre-trial discovery

    Wouldn't work. That's for civil cases.

    The ordinary course for criminal cases is a search warrant.

    However, the charge here is a fine-only summary offence, so that won't work. They can charge twitter, maybe, and a bunch of ISPs, but there's no way they're getting anonymous information without voluntary assistance.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rick Shera,

    Can’t imagine many people (incl the Electoral Commission) having the wherewithal or inclination to bring an action against Twitter in California to find the ID multiple of pseudonymous tweeters.

    Oddly enough, that's what happened in the South Tyneside case -- although, obviously, that was a libel action pursued by the council leader (with public money?) rather than a prosecution.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18716 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Fox,

    How did West Ham go this season?

    Finished bottom and relegated.

    Since Nov 2006 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Robert Fox,

    How did West Ham go this season?

    Finished bottom and relegated.

    I know. I just wanted Pete to say it :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18716 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    How did West Ham go this season?

    That's just cruel.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Fox, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Not a Happy Hammer then?

    Since Nov 2006 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Kind of difficult to figure out who would be harmed by twittering on election day.

    The law itself seems to imply that last minute electioneering is unfair in some mysterious way, to whom?

    As for breaching suppression - well suppression does good sometimes (most times) but many of he most publicized suppression order of late have been of dubious merit. Legally correct maybe but just, maybe not.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3267 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Kind of difficult to figure out who would be harmed by twittering on election day.

    The law itself seems to imply that last minute electioneering is unfair in some mysterious way, to whom?

    The sense of solemn occasion would be harmed. And allowing people to badger you on the way to and outside of polling booths might discourage some people from voting.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    Regarding the Electoral Commission's and twitter, I think it's doing so so it can simply say they've made a call on it.
    In other words, it's a bit like the rule that everyone over 18 must be registered to vote (I think...) and open to prosecution if not. Of course no one's every prosecuted for not registering, but the Commission is obliged to at least put up the window dressing.
    I assume there are plenty of people at the E.C who realise they're fighting a losing battle against twitter (and social media in general), but know they've just got to go through the motions and wave the big stick.

    Also, why just twitter ? Why not Arsebook as well - surely there'll be plenty of people with politically-inclined status updates on election day, too ?

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 582 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    They could. But it costs money (money to pay lawyers to get user details out of twitter, money to draft letters, money to file cases, money to settle, money to build the courthouses and pay the judges to decide the extra cases for those who won't).

    and

    They have to issue summonses and bring you before a court.

    It really doesn't sound that hard.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8319 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    The sense of solemn occasion would be harmed.

    Boohoo. The Act-ing up party (ies) might make this solemnity of which you speak a case of wishful thinking, with or without the help of social media.

    We are all Twitter!

    I'm not.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    In other words, it’s a bit like the rule that everyone over 18 must be registered to vote (I think…) and open to prosecution if not. Of course no one’s every prosecuted for not registering, but the Commission is obliged to at least put up the window dressing.

    Not quite.

    The penalty for not registering to vote is far lower, and there's a provision in the Electoral Act forbidding the prosecution of someone if they later register.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to BenWilson,

    It really doesn't sound that hard.

    I didn't say it was hard. I said it cost money, which the Electoral Commission is unlikely to have. They'll be funded for an expected level of electoral crime. But if there are thousands of cases, then they won't be able to enforce the law.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1630 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Wain, in reply to Russell Brown,

    How did West Ham go this season

    Dear God Russell - say you're not a Manure fan!

    There is no good reason to be such a person, unless you have family connections to United fandom. Anyone but them.

    Since Nov 2006 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Wain,

    Aren't these websites based in the USA, or at least not in NZ? Hence it's not actually publishing here... anyone?

    Since Nov 2006 • 135 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.