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Social Media platforms present Voluntary Code of Ethics for 2019 Lok Sabha elections

Date: 22 March 2019 Tags: Bills & Laws

Social media platforms and Internet and Mobile Association of India (IMAI) has submitted “Voluntary Code of Ethics for the General Election 2019” to Election Commission of India. It has been developed to ensure free, fair and ethical usage of social media platforms to maintain integrity of electoral process for General (Lok Sabha) Elections 2019.

It has been voluntarily agreed upon by participants and came into operation in 20 March 2019. It comes after follow up of meeting between IAMAI and representatives of Social Media Platforms including Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Google, ShareChat and TikTok etc and Election Commisssion.

Features Code of ethics

  • Its purpose is to identify measures that social media and internet companies can put in place to increase confidence in electoral process and help safeguard platforms against misuse.
  • It will help safeguard product and services of the participants against misuse to vitiate free and fair character of 2019 Lok Sabha election.
  • It will work to prevent inappropriate or objectionable political advertisements and promises to facilitate transparency in paid political advertisements.
  • Participants will take action on content reported by the nodal officer, expeditiously, in accordance with law.
  • Social media platforms will provide mechanism for relevant political advertisers to submit pre-certificates issued Media Certification & Monitoring Committee (MCMC) of EC for election advertisements that feature names of political parties and candidates.
  • These platforms will also, via IAMAI provide updates on measures taken by them to prevent abuse.
  • They will also train EC’s nodal officers on how their platforms work and on mechanisms for sending requests on dealing with ‘offensive’ material
  • These platforms also have developed notification mechanism through which EC can notify relevant platforms of potential violations of Section 126 of Representation of the People Act, 1951
  • Social media platforms will process any violations reported under Section 126 of RP Act, 1951 within three hours as per Umesh Sinha Committee recommendations. 
  • IAMAI has agreed to coordinate with participants who also have committed to voluntarily undertake voter awareness campaigns.
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