Thursday, 24 September 2009

YouTube could make the coming general election the dirtiest yet

The Electoral Commission has announced that it had no plans to police internet material during the general election campaign.

According to a BBC report, a spokesman said: "There is nothing in electoral legislation that would cover that kind of stuff. Our job is to provide guidance for those people taking part in an election and to help them stay within the law."

But he "makes clear that complaints about potentially defamatory material, under electoral laws, remain a matter for the police and that cases will be investigated".

The phrase "don't hold your breath" comes to mind. A serious allegation was made against a candidate in the last Assembly elections in the form of a widely distributed anonymous leaflet. Although the police investigation has not officially been closed as far as I know, there have not yet been any arrests. If the perpetrators of a leaflet, which involves considerable effort to print and distribute, cannot be tracked down, what hope is there of nailing the producer of an online video spoof, which may not even be hosted in the UK?

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