French Tweeters Get Around Ban On Tweeting Election Results Using WWII-Era Codes

from the gouda-cheese dept

Last week, we wrote about how French Twitter users were being warned not to use social media tools like Twitter to reveal local polling or election results before all the French voting booths closed in the Presidential election. We pointed out how silly this was, and it appears that folks in France used a simple mechanism to get around the rules: using WWII-era coding techniques to share information in the same manner that the French Resistance used:

As a result, incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy became either Tokaji wine which, like his father, comes from Hungary, or Rolex because of his perceived “bling-bling” lifestyle.

His Socialist opponent Francois Hollande was either Gouda cheese (from Holland) or a soft, sweet “Flanby” caramel desert — an old and unforgiving nickname for the portly frontrunner.

Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen was associated with the names of totalitarian regimes or rodents and Communist Party-backed Jean-Luc Melenchon was either a rotten tomato or something linked to the former Soviet Union.

From there, it sounds like people just had fun with it, figuring out all sorts of ways to obliquely refer to the different candidates and how well they were doing without directly referring to any of them. Once again, the internet views censorship as an obstacle, and routes around it, through a rather creative form of “encryption.”

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Comments on “French Tweeters Get Around Ban On Tweeting Election Results Using WWII-Era Codes”

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Capt ICE Enforcer says:

Foiled again


Dear Internet Users,

As your hero, I humbly request that you quit foiling all good intentions that your wonderful government is doing. We the government know what is best for the people, because we are also people. So just obey us, and quit being so sneaky.


Capt ICE Enforcer

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Is this ban a bad thing?

You can call it “censorship” if you want, but I’m not convinced that such a ban is necessarily a bad thing. Just look at the way early reporting ended up skewing the votes in later time zones during the 2004 US elections. (Not sure if France spans multiple time zones, though. I do know it doesn’t span nearly as many as the US does, so that might not be as big of an issue.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Is this ban a bad thing?

It is censorship. Politicians love censorship, but the electorate hates it. It is amazing how many politicians do not get the message. Sarkozy has now become the only one term president for decades, because he did not get the message.

Good move, pollies, use censorship, same as the Nazis, then have the people use the same technique as they used in WWII. How to get yourselves viewed as no better than Nazis. Sarkozy will now have plenty of time to consider his mistakes. Will the others now get the message?

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