Jammu & Kashmir

Ensure ethical use of social media platforms during campaigning: ECI to politicians

BJP supporters rally. [File Photo]

Srinagar: In its objective to ensure free, fair and transparent electioneering, the Election Commission of India has instructed all registered political parties, on National and State level, and their respective representatives to ensure responsible and ethical use of social media platforms amid prevalence of Model Code of Conduct.

The ECI in a dispatch to the President/General Secretary/Chairperson of All National/State recognised Political Parties, a copy of which lies with GNS, remarked that the Commission’s “attention has been drawn to certain violations of MCC and the extant legal provisions by Political Parties /their representatives while using social media for election campaigning.”

“It needs to be regulated in the interest of transparency, ethical campaigning and level playing field during the elections. The use of such manipulated, distorted, edited content on social media platforms has the potential to wrongfully sway voter opinions, deepen societal divisions, and erode trust in the electioneering process by attacking laid out instrumentalities of the electoral steps in terms of means and material,” the order said.

Further, the scale of spread of such misinformation has been observed to be dangerously unrestrained due to the availability of the option of “forwarding/re-sharing/ re-posting/ re-tweeting” on social media platforms, the ECI said.

The Commission reminded the parties of ‘detailed guidelines dated 25.10.2013 inter alia providing that provisions of Model Code of Conduct and related instructions of the Commission shall apply to the content being posted on the internet, including social media by candidates and political parties.’

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