Lok Sabha election 2019: Code of ethics bars political campaign on social media platforms 48 hours before polling ends

No political campaign will be allowed to run on major social media platforms in the last 48 hours before polling ends, according to a voluntary code of ethics prepared by such platforms

Press Trust of India March 21, 2019 00:17:59 IST
Lok Sabha election 2019: Code of ethics bars political campaign on social media platforms 48 hours before polling ends
  • No political campaign will be allowed to run on major social media platforms in the last 48 hours before polling ends

  • A voluntary code of ethics was prepared by such platforms after meeting the Election Commission on Tuesday

  • Social media platforms, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Google, ShareChat and TikTok have signed the code of ethics

New Delhi: No political campaign will be allowed to run on major social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, in the last 48 hours before polling ends, according to a voluntary code of ethics prepared by such platforms.

These platforms submitted the code to the Election Commission (EC) on Wednesday. "The code of ethics has been developed as a follow up to yesterday's meeting with the IAMAI and representatives of social media platforms, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Google, ShareChat and TikTok, etc. The platforms have committed to process any violations reported under Section 126 of the RP (Representation of the People) Act, 1951, within three hours as per the Sinha Committee's recommendations," EC said in a statement.

Lok Sabha election 2019 Code of ethics bars political campaign on social media platforms 48 hours before polling ends

Representational Image

Social media firms such as BIGO and ByteDance have also signed the code of ethics. Section 126 of the act embodies "election silence", which prohibits any form of campaigning in the last 48 hours leading up to end of voting. This is the first time internet-based firms have voluntarily adopted the norms for online campaign.

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said the formulation of the code augurs a good beginning but is essentially, a work in making. The participants need to follow in letter and spirit the commitments made in the code of ethics, he said.

Industry body Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) will act as the liaison between the social media firms and the commission. Under the voluntary code of ethics, social media companies will take action on content reported by the nodal officer, expeditiously, in accordance with the law.

Social media firms, who signed the code, have the technology to upload certification from the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee, according to the code. They are also committed to taking action on paid advertisements and those violating the requirements of the MCMC's certification under the notification by the EC, it said.

Under the code, social media firms have also committed to facilitating transparency in paid political advertisements, including utilising their pre-existing labels or disclosure technology for such advertisements.

Updated Date:

also read

Why cute political bots should not distract us from the human hand behind them
World

Why cute political bots should not distract us from the human hand behind them

When we personify, we risk losing sight of the agency and responsibility bot creators and bot users have

How 9/11 made politicians and media turn terrorism into an Islamic issue
World

How 9/11 made politicians and media turn terrorism into an Islamic issue

Perhaps the most damaging legacy of 9/11, however, has been the homogenisation and Islamisation of the terror threat

Bhabanipur bypolls: BJP claims Mamata Banerjee concealed criminal cases against her in nomination papers
Politics

Bhabanipur bypolls: BJP claims Mamata Banerjee concealed criminal cases against her in nomination papers

Sajal Ghosh, the chief election agent of the saffron party's candidate for the constituency, Priyanka Tibrewal, wrote to the EC, raising objections to Banerjee's declaration.