The law in France prohibit the publication of results, estimates or surveys of presidential elections before the close of all polling places at 8:00 pm (2:00 pm eastern time).
“Until 8 p.m. Sunday, election day, when the last polling places close in the first round of voting, the country’s 10 presidential candidates may not give speeches or interviews, distribute fliers or update their campaign Web sites or Facebook pages. And no media outlet, pollster or citizen is to publish voting data of any kind — no leaked exit polls, no hints on Twitter — on pain of a fine of up to 75,000 euros, or $100,000.”
And for a company, offenders face fines of up to 375,000 euros.
Vote result leaks apply to : online websites and blogs (not only those based in France but also foreign blogs), Newspapers, Television, Radio and even people (comments on a forum or a social network like Facebook or Twitter).
And CNCCEP (National Control Commission of the campaign for presidential elections) is there to watch. And this year they hired a swat team to monitor the web.
The monitoring unit will consist of a government team of 10 people, who are all equipped with software and scripts for detecting content by keywords, both on search engines like Google and on social networks like Facebook or Twitter.
“The law prohibits any form of publication, distribution, comments from these surveys and estimates, whatever the mode of communication. Are particularly affected by this ban all broadcasts through the press, especially radio and broadcast media, online (websites and blogs) and social networks. Violation of this prohibition is punishable under section 12 of the Act of July 17, 1977 and Article L. 90-1 of the Election Code, a penalty of 75,000 euros fine. “
Blogs, Internet and foreign media: the threat of the fine real this year
“The Commission surveys intends to sue the Swiss and Belgian media that violate French law, although they do argue that they are not based in France. Once a site is accessed from an IP address hosted in France, there is diffusion in France”
, said French authorities.
This is without doubt the biggest surprise: the Belgian and Swiss media reported that they were not subject to French law and therefore they would broadcast the first results after 5:00 pm… But Comission has just announced that they too were liable to prosecution.
If you’re a blogger living in Belgium, Switzerland, Canada or any other country on the planet, according to the citation of CNCCEP, I advise you not to publish anything, or at your own risk.