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Subject: RE: [election-services] Twitter



Agreed it’s not or decision.  All I am suggesting is if it is not safe would we be better to distance ourselves from it rather than trying to advise how best to use it.   The fact that we attempt to show how to use it could be taken by some election officials as an endorsement by us.   I know MoJ are considering putting out advice to election officials following the Newcastle case.




From: Paul Spencer [mailto:paul.spencer@boynings.co.uk]
Sent: 27 April 2009 14:03
To: John Borras; 'Sven Rubben'
Cc: 'eml'
Subject: RE: [election-services] Twitter


Hi John,


I don’t think that is our decision. It is up to the election officials. We just go as far as the XML, then allow people to do what they like with it. We may not agree with the use of Twitter, but we can show the flexibility of EML by demonstrating the ability to do so. Where I am working at the moment, they have an SMS gateway accessible to government organisations through a web service. They could easily develop something that allowed people to register a mobile phone number, then provided election results as SMS messages to them. At least, they could if this were a democracy J.


Newcastle published its local election results on Twitter, so I looked at how easy it would be to automate this from an EML510. The answer is “it depends on the 510”. If you were publishing on web site, you could provide a general purpose stylesheet that would cover many 510 message types. For Twitter, the limitation of 140 characters means that you need to tweak the application to the actual fields being used. Finding that (something that is perhaps obvious, but it becomes more obvious when you try it) is valuable in itself. Someone, and my guess is David, tried to post a 510 that did not have the candidate names, so it didn’t work. I am not sure why it didn’t appear at all, but even if it had, the text would have been meaningless.






From: John Borras [mailto:john@pensive.eu]
Sent: 27 April 2009 16:17
To: Sven Rubben
Cc: eml
Subject: RE: [election-services] Twitter


Thanks Sven.  That goes along with my fears.  Unless we could guarantee somehow that using EML would protect against fake results being shown on Twitter, and I don’t see how we could do that, I would suggest we should distance ourselves from  using that channel.




From: Sven Rubben [mailto:sven_rubben@be.ibm.com]
Sent: 27 April 2009 12:55
To: John Borras
Cc: eml; Paul Spencer
Subject: RE: [election-services] Twitter



I saw this post a couple of days ago about fake facts on Twitter: http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2009/04/fake_facts_on_t.html

This is of course not completely relevant because election results are quite visible, at least in Belgium. But I know for a fact that certain results are copied, some even manually and with errors (these errors were visible for a few hours :-) ). So someone could, theoretically, inject false results. However, there are lots of sites that follow the official results (again in Belgium), so I'm not sure what someone would gain from this, or how successful they would be.

Sven Rubben

Tel BLS: +32 2 225 27 47
GSM: +32 495 26 13 10
Notes: Sven Rubben/Belgium/IBM@IBMBE
Internet: sven_rubben@be.ibm.com
Private: srubben@acm.org


"John Borras" <john@pensive.eu>


"Paul Spencer" <paul.spencer@boynings.co.uk>, "eml" <election-services@lists.oasis-open.org>


04/27/2009 11:42


RE: [election-services] Twitter


I’d be interested to hear of views on this as at least one local election official here in UK has used Twitter to publish results which I thought was very risky.
From: Paul Spencer [mailto:paul.spencer@boynings.co.uk]
24 April 2009 13:24
[election-services] Twitter

OK guys, I have done a very basic posting of an EML 510 to Twitter. See http://boynings.co.uk/emltwitter/. Once you have uploaded a results file (note the documentation of fields that are used – you can’t just upload any old 510), you can see the result on Twitter. The user is emlelections. You can also search by the ContestId attribute in your file preceded by the “#” character.
Have a go, and let me know how you get on.

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