The Election Commission on Tuesday met representatives of Internet companies, including Facebook and Twitter, to discuss issues related to the use of social media for campaigning in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls while the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is in exertion. In this regard, the Election Commission had summoned Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Google and TikTok for a meeting on Tuesday.
With the Election Commission on March 9 outlining stringent guidelines for social media usage during elections, political parties and candidates won't be able to post unverified advertisements, photographs of defence personnel, hate speeches and fake news on their accounts. According to the new guidelines, candidates are required to furnish details of their social media accounts at the time of filing nominations and their activities on Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Google would be under the Election Commission's close scrutiny.
A statement issued by the EC said the meeting also discussed evolving a ‘notification’ mechanism by social media platforms for acting upon the violations of Section 126 of R.P. Act, 1951 and preventing misuse of these platforms.
Section 126 of the Representation of People Act prohibits advertising and campaigning on TV and other electronic media during the silent period, which is 48 hours before the end of polling.