INDORE: Now, contents posted by the parties and the candidates on social media sites— Facebook and Twitter— will come under the scanner of the Election Commission India. All the rules presently in place for communication media would also be applicable on social media.

As per the instructions, a candidate will have to inform to the DEO about his/ her e- mail account and social network account. The ECI said that its attention was drawn towards use of social media for campaigning and to regulate violations of electoral law through these networks.

The election watchdog said that even some political outfits are demanding a strict control on social media during the elections like all other media.

Legal provisions

Candidates are required to file affidavits in Form- 26 at the time of filing of nominations. The EC finds it necessary that authentic social media accounts of the candidates should be informed to the Election Commission.

It clarified that since social media websites come under electronic media, therefore, these instructions of the EC contained in its order issued on 15.04.2004 shall also apply to websites including social media websites and shall fall under the purview of pre- certification. Therefore, the ECI has requested to the CEO of MP to ensure that no political advertisements were released to any internet- based media, websites, including social media websites by the political parties, candidates without pre- certification from competent authorities in the same format.

Mode Code of Conduct

The ECI has clarified that provisions of Model Code of Conduct and related instructions of the Commission issued from time to time shall also apply to the content being posted on the internet, including social media websites, by the candidates and political parties.

Public comments under consideration

The Election regulator has said that as far as the content posted by persons other than candidates and parties are concerned, the EC is considering the matter in consultation with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology on practical ways to deal with the issue, in so far as they relate to, or can be reasonably connected with, the election campaign of political parties and candidates.

Social media under the purview

  • Collaborative projects like Wikipedia
  • Blogs and micro blogs like Twitter
  • Content communities like ouTube .
  • Social networking sites like Face book
  • Virtual game- worlds like Apps

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