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Social media platforms to bar election campaign 48 hrs before polling ends

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.

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Election Campaign  |  Facebook  |  Youtube

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Twitter Inc Photo: Reuters
This is the first time internet-based firms have voluntarily adopted the norms for online campaign.

No political campaign will be allowed to run on major platforms, including Facebook, 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 (EC) on Wednesday.

"The code of ethics has been developed as a follow up to yesterday's meeting with the IAMAI and representatives of 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," said in a statement.

firms such as BIGO and 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.

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.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Wed, March 20 2019. 22:01 IST
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