Twitter users turned Sunday’s French presidential election into a battle between a green Hungarian wine and a red Dutch cheese in a bid to get round tough laws banning result predictions.

The #RadioLondres hashtag was the top France trend on Twitter during the first-round presidential vote, in homage to World War II codes broadcast to Resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied France from the BBC in London.

But French citizens have written a new codebook in a subversive bid to get round laws that mean anyone announcing vote predictions before polls closed at 8:00 pm (1800 GMT) could be fined up to 75,000 euros (100,000 dollars).

“Tune in to #RadioLondres so as not to know the figures we don’t want to know before 8:00 pm,” said one ironic tweet.

The story is here.

“Dutch cheese at 27 euros, Tokai wine at 25 euros,” read one tweet as poll percentage predictions were published abroad.

The thing is, this would still be prosecuted if perpetrated by broadcast media.  So it wasn’t the code per se that allowed them to circumvent the law.  So the questions are:

  1. Why is an in-spirit violation not prosecuted when carried out in a decentralized communication network?
  2. Would just nakedly forecasting the outcome also escape prosecution if done on Twitter? (As opposed to the usual things people nakedly do on Twitter.)

The pointer was from @handeh.

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