Just for the record…
Some time in the last week or two, the Legislative Council released their final report on the Tasmanian Electoral Commission. I put in a submission for this on behalf of the party, where I basically said “the Tasmanian Electoral Act 2004 is braindead with regards material posted on the internet”, and offered a few recommendations (don’t require a physical address be attached to electoral material posted on the internet, or at the very least make that part not apply to individuals). The report seems to acknowledge the problem, but it they haven’t really taken my suggestions on board:
2.19 The Inquiry noted the increasingly widespread use of social media and a number of issues concerning its use in election campaigns and that advances in communications technology are not reflected in the Electoral Act 2004.
2.20 It also noted that case law interprets social media posts to be as published material but that it is extremely difficult to monitor and enforce compliance.
2.21 The Inquiry also noted that Section 191(1)(b) of the Electoral Act 2004 requires all election material published on the internet, between the time of issuing a writ for an election and closing of polls, to identify the name and address of the responsible person. However, it was reported that a number of social media platforms do not provide enough space for an authorisation statement to be included.
Social media is increasingly used in election commentary and campaigns. It is subject to the existing publication rules but is extremely difficult to monitor and enforce compliance.
The Government further consider the matter of social media to ensure compliance with relevant Acts.