Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: We are all Twitter

87 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 Newer→ Last

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Graeme, how much ability would the NZ authorities have to seek information on Twitter users in the US?

    I know extradition demands a similar offence in both jurisdictions, so (even if electoral offences were extraditable) they wouldn’t be able to because the US had no restrictions on polling day propaganda (not to mention that any such restrictions would be unconstitutional).

    Does that mean that the NZ government couldn’t get a court order against Twitter?

    (EDIT: The UK case was libel, which of course exists in US law. But the electoral laws certainly don't take similar forms. "No propaganda on polling day" is pretty much peculiar to NZ)

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    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.

    The job of enforcing this lies with the police, to whom the Electoral Commission refers these matters: yo, police, Twitter account "NZerforNZFirst" tweeted "don't fuget to vot winstin da man" at 11am on polling day, can you look into it? That sort of thing.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Does that mean that the NZ government couldn’t get a court order against Twitter?

    I don't want to be too definitive (not knowing US law as well as one might), but yes.

    Even if Twitter was based in New Zealand they couldn't get the information, unless Twitter volunteered it.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Graeme, how much ability would the NZ authorities have to seek information on Twitter users in the US?

    Rick’s comment above suggests that the Norwich Pharmacal rule means they could. Whether they would is another matter.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    The job of enforcing this lies with the police, to whom the Electoral Commission refers these matters: yo, police, Twitter account “NZerforNZFirst” tweeted “don’t fuget to vot winstin da man” at 11am on polling day, can you look into it? That sort of thing.

    So 10,000 people could self-report? Not saying they should, but presumably they could.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Rick’s comment above suggests that the Norwich Pharmacal rule means they could. Whether they would is another matter.

    That's a civil matter. We're talking about the criminal jurisdiction here.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Russell Brown,

    So 10,000 people could self-report? Not saying they should, but presumably they could.

    You could report 10,000 people :-)

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    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?

    Quite. The law is bordering on the superstitious and clearly lacks the spokes to roll in the 21st century, do away with the law, problem solved.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to chris,

    do away with the law, problem solved

    You've been living in China too long, sir.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    You could report 10,000 people :-)

    That sounds like a lot of work.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    How did West Ham go this season?

    Finished bottom and relegated.

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

    Which of the stages of grief is delusional amnesia? :)

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 948 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Peter Darlington,

    Which of the stages of grief is delusional amnesia?

    There's a special 8th Stage just for West Ham supporters

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Sacha,

    You’ve been living in China too long, sir.

    That's beside the point Sacha ; ) There are countless democracies without this kind of law. When we take a macro view of our own, who's to say the system is any fairer with this anachronism. My main peeve with it is that it implies that New Zealanders are inherently fools, gullible and easily swayed off an opinion by any old gambit, which A; I've found not to be the case, and B; is not a lot to live up to.

    To laud such a law is almost to deny that people possess the intelligence to vote responsibly. If you believe people lack the intelligence to vote responsibly, then why live in a democracy?

    The most ludicrous aspect being the legal perception that these fools are most at risk of stupidity in that minuscule window that is 24 hours surrounding an election.

    Which in its way begets this kind of thought process (joke or not):

    You could report 10,000 people :-)

    One hopes at some future point, good sense will prevail.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to chris,

    My main peeve with it is that it implies that New Zealanders are inherently fools, gullible and easily swayed off an opinion by any old gambit, which A; I’ve found not to be the case, and B; is not a lot to live up to.

    To laud such a law is almost to deny that people possess the intelligence to vote responsibly. If you believe people lack the intelligence to vote responsibly, then why live in a democracy?

    The most ludicrous aspect being the legal perception that these fools are most at risk of stupidity in that minuscule window that is 24 hours surrounding an election.

    That is not what it is about. I agree that that could be a reason why someone might want or support such a law, however it is not the reason why we have such a law.

    We have this law because:

    * politicians can stuff off - today is about us the voters;
    * we want people to be able to vote without being harassed by people outside polling places who might scare them off: can't be bothered going through all that, etc;
    * we actually like the serenity - it feels like democracy;

    It's not about twitter. This law covers twitter because it was written broadly enough that it would, back when it was written ages ago.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    we want people to be able to vote without being harassed by people outside polling places who might scare them off: can’t be bothered going through all that, etc;

    Does that actually happen everywhere else?

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    we actually like the serenity

    +1

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    who might scare them off:

    Again, regardless of how much I enjoyed your post in 2008, it seems the case invariably necessitates recourse to them….these…those… weak willed straw men and lasses. Considering our votes are confidential, if someone is campaigning for a particular candidate, how would it be in their interests to scare anyone off voting?

    Furthermore, what would scare you off voting Graeme?

    If serenity is the seller, I would suggest posting a special vote and a day trip in your national park of choice.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to chris,

    I recommend a postal vote?

    When voters go postal, we're really in trouble.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Sorry, I edited, recordari… I'll STFU.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    Does that actually happen everywhere else?

    Not everywhere, but it does happen. The hard thing is to draw the line between advertising and coercion. So, the logic goes, if you disallow advertising you'll make coercion harder too. Also, as "Gandalf" noted in the Harold comments yesterday:

    There should be no electioneering on election day. If we remove all restrictions on election day advertising you will get massive inflammatory lying rhetoric from large organised groups, a real problem as there is no time for a right of reply. The whole election will become a total farce, and a shouting competition

    Idiot/Savant had a nice piece on this the other day as well.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to nzlemming,

    It seems to me that all these arguments against electioneering on election day are based on some pretty elaborate strawmen. I suppose I don't really care either way, but we are talking about a law that could fine you $20,000 for an indiscreet tweet or facebook status. Man, you must be doing something pretty damn serious.

    Of course, countries are free to come up with any laws they feel like. But a law is a law is a law. I can't chose which ones I feel like complying with and which ones I can ignore because they are just plain silly. I believe most other countries manage just fine with party officials handing out voting papers while wearing a party button without democracy going to hell in a hand basket.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    We have this law because:

    * politicians can stuff off – today is about us the voters;
    * we want people to be able to vote without being harassed by people outside polling places who might scare them off: can’t be bothered going through all that, etc;
    * we actually like the serenity – it feels like democracy;

    Quite – and I have friends in Australia who find being (legally) harassed by party hacks outside polling places singularly unpleasant. I’ve done a fair amount of scrutineering over the years, and it’s actually quite pleasant having Election Day being one where folks like me just STFU, smile sweetly and stay the hell out of the way of the people who really matter. We’ve had a whole campaign to hoot, holler and make ding-dongs of ourselves. :)

    I suppose I don’t really care either way, but we are talking about a law that could fine you $20,000 for an indiscreet tweet or facebook status. Man, you must be doing something pretty damn serious.

    FFS, Martin, we're not talking rocket science here. "Indiscreet" is how you describe someone letting off an arse-cracker in church, not flouting a law that's neither complex nor terribly onerous.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to nzlemming,

    If we remove all restrictions on election day advertising you will get massive inflammatory lying rhetoric from large organised groups, a real problem as there is no time for a right of reply.

    Why wouldn't they just move that rhetoric to the day before, then. There would still be no right of reply, as no one could respond on election day.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Steve Parks,

    Why wouldn’t they just move that rhetoric to the day before, then. There would still be no right of reply, as no one could respond on election day.

    Well, quite -- I don't think it was a coincidence that Jim Bolger waited until his last television interview of the campaign to fuck over Mark Thomas. (Yes, I'm still bitter. No, I'm not going to get over it.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to nzlemming,

    So, the logic goes, if you disallow advertising you’ll make coercion harder too. Also, as “Gandalf” noted in the Harold comments yesterday:

    There should be no electioneering on election day. If we remove all restrictions on election day advertising you will get massive inflammatory lying rhetoric from large organised groups, a real problem as there is no time for a right of reply.

    It seems to me that all these arguments against electioneering on election day are based on some pretty elaborate strawmen. I suppose I don’t really care either way, but we are talking about a law that could fine you $20,000 for an indiscreet tweet or facebook status. Man, you must be doing something pretty damn serious.

    Well, if you removed all restrictions, then that might happen, but we wouldn't. The law makes it a corrupt practice (punishable by two years' prison) to publish a false statement with the intention of influencing voters any time before the close of the poll, or in the preceding two days.

    I don't think the sky will fall if we abandon this rule; I'm just telling people why we adopted it, why we've kept it (as well as some reasons that aren't behind it); it's entirely possible some people will not consider them particular convincing.

    Also. The maximum possible fine, for the absolute worst offending against this law is $20,000. We are not talking about a law that can see you fined $20,000 for tweeting. Factually and legally that is impossible.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 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.