Canadian Facebook Postings Surge After Polls Close

The moment the last of the polls closed, Canadians began posting political rants, almost overcompensating for the nation's ban on social media posts while the votes were still coming in.

The moment the last of the polls closed, Canadians began posting rants about the outcome, almost overcompensating for the nation’s ban on social media posts while the votes were still coming in.

The letting out of pent-up desire to post makes more sense when you compare how Facebookers in the U.S. — and other countries besides Canada — have posted their votes on the social network.

While Elections Canada’s ban on individuals Facebooking and Tweeting results ahead of the polls closure seems to have worked — people kept things off social media and more western Canadians made it to the polls — but an early leak came from the Canadian Broadcasting Company, of all places.

You’d think that CBC would have known better, but now the newscaster will have to pay a hefty fine. Perhaps Elections Canada might warn news organizations anew during the months or weeks preceding the next vote.

Meanwhile, Canadian Tweeters apparently had a lot less self control than the folks using Facebook, according to our sister blog, AllTwitter.

Hundreds of Twitter users flouted the ban, effectively queuing up to pay the $2,500 fine for disseminating election results before the allowed time.

Perhaps the greater anonymity allowed by the microblogging site explains the difference in behavior, because law eforcement would have to subpoena Twitter for the Internet protocol addresses of the defiant Tweeters in order to track them down. And even the IPs might not provide the exact home address of each infractor.

So perhaps Elections Canada needs to come out with a more Twitter-specific warning before the next national vote, while also reminding traditional media (ahem, CBC!) that the rule still applies to them. And why aren’t mail-in ballots part of the solution to voter turnout issues up north?

Readers, did you notice any of your Canadian friends start posting on Facebook the moment the last polls closed?