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The Media Certification & Monitoring Committee (MCMC) of the Election Commission will hitherto oversee the use of hashtags in political advertising in all Indian elections. A “hashtag” on Twitter makes for “highly-polarised political narratives”, opined a panel set up under an ex-IRS officer, Harish Kumar, to review poll expenditure limits and expenditure monitoring mechanisms. The panel called for the creation of a separate social media monitoring cell in the district election officer’s (DEO's) office to track political ads on social media during polls, and report them to the expenditure observer.
Hashtags especially came into the crosshairs of the expert committee who put it on record that, “IT cells of different political parties often use ‘bots’ to create trends on social media.