Election Commission to formulate 'code of conduct' for social media platforms which collaborate with it

Social media platforms which collaborate with the Election Commission will now have to follow a 'code of conduct' to ensure that their user data remains protected from manipulation which could adversely affect elections.

PTI March 28, 2018 21:30:38 IST
Election Commission to formulate 'code of conduct' for social media platforms which collaborate with it

New Delhi: Social media platforms which collaborate with the Election Commission will now have to follow a 'code of conduct' to ensure that their user data remains protected from manipulation which could adversely affect elections.

Election Commission to formulate code of conduct for social media platforms which collaborate with it

File image of Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat. PTI

Highly-placed sources in the poll panel said on Wednesday that the body's social media unit met on Tuesday and decided to draft the 'code of conduct'. The platforms which do not follow the proposed code will not get to partner with the Election Commission. The decision was taken in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica episode.

Observing that utilisation of social media cannot be stopped due to instances of "aberrations", Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat had on Tuesday said that Facebook would remain the poll panel's social media partner during the Karnataka Assembly elections.

He also said the social media cell of the Election Commission would go into the issue of App of politicians and political parties sharing user data without the users' consent. "Any aberration won't stop the use of modern technology... banks frauds have taken place, but we don't stop banking," Rawat told a press conference while announcing the Karnataka Assembly poll schedule.

He was asked if the Facebook would continue to be the Election Commission's social media partner in the wake of reports that its user data had been harvested by a company without the users' consent.

The CEC said that the social media is a reality and the Election Commission will take all precautions at its command, to prevent episodes which adversely affect Indian elections. The Facebook data scandal erupted after a whistleblower revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, accessed personal data from 50 million users of the website without their knowledge, and might have kept that data even after the social media giant told the company to delete it. The Election Commission uses Facebook to encourage young people to enrol as voters.

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