EC to keep ‘Hawk-eye’ on Social Media Content of Political Parties During Lok Sabha Polls 2019

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In a bid to tighten the social media in upcoming general elections slated for April-May, the Election Commission is planning to monitor the social media contest closely. With social networking giants like Facebook, Twitter and Google expressed their willingness to work with Poll body for the first time.

The three internet giants had made a written commitment to the poll body to work with EC not only in making transparency behind the funding of the political advertisements but also to regulate advertisements that are objectionable or in violation of the model code of conduct.

In view of the upcoming Lok Sabha Polls, Social Media has setup grievances cells. The EC will not only monitor the content on these platforms but will also flag any Objectionable content to the grievances cells that will put down them.

Facebook has recently in February last month rolled out changes to the way political ads appear on its platform. As per the new rules, users will be able to see political ads with “Published by” or “Paid for by” disclaimers as specified by the advertisers.

Facebook will also provide more information to the users about the pages running these ads. The social media platform will allow users to view the primary country location of the people who manage Pages running or paying for political ads in India.

In order to access this information along with all the ads the Page is currently running, users can visit the Page’s “Info and Ads” section. Facebook is also working on an Ad library that will keep track of ads posted on the social media platform, including a range of impressions and spend and a demographic of who saw the ad.

Election Commission currently requires candidates to furnish details of their social media accounts in their nomination papers. Candidates also need to share their expenditure on social media advertisements.

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