While the Lok Sabha elections are underway, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has been proactively incorporating rules to curb any form of ‘political content/advertisements’ during the silent period between the different phases of voting.
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and WhatsApp were asked by the ECI to remove hundreds of posts and delete numerous accounts that were found breaking the Model Code of Conduct.
An Economic Times report stated that up to 468 takedowns from the social media platforms were found to be spreading political content. The majority of the content taken down was seen as harmful to the spirit of the elections including ‘hate speech’ and ‘voter misinformation’.
Facebook took down 574 posts out of which up to 60 of them had ‘political advertisements’. Additionally, 28 posts ‘offended public morality and decency’, 10 displayed ‘voter misinformation’, six spread ‘hate speech’ or ‘undue influence’ and two violated the model code of conduct. Most of the requests against Facebook were from Telangana.
Majority of the Twitter takedowns had ‘explicit violation’ of the model code. Twitter disabled or deleted 34 out of the 49 accounts or tweets in the first three phases. Among the remaining, eight of them posted political content despite the on-going silent period, five were deemed to be sharing ‘misleading information to voters’ and two of them had ‘hate speech’ against political opponents. The chief electoral officer of Uttar Pradesh had forwarded one of the Twitter complaints.
On YouTube, two videos were deleted that were found ‘propagating hate speech’ and ‘broadcasting political content’ in the silent phase. Three WhatsApp numbers got disabled that were found to be breaking the model code and spreading hate speech.
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Updated Date: Apr 26, 2019 10:58:53 IST