New Delhi: After a meeting with the Election Commission, on Tuesday, the Internet and Mobile Association of India and top social-media companies have accepted the commission’s suggestion of policing themselves for the Lok Sabha election. The poll panel had suggested for a “code of ethics” to be voluntarily followed by social-media companies to maintain the integrity and legality of political campaigns on their platforms during the general election.
The Election Commission had called for this meeting recently in view of the concerns over influencing the Lok Sabha election.
The representatives of IAMAI and social-media giants, like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Google, ShareChat, TikTok and BigoTV, had a meeting with the Election Commission. The commission spoke about how to restrain the misuse of social media to run unlawful political campaigns.
In this meeting it was decided that a dedicated grievance channel for speedy action by the companies, pre-certification and transparency in expenditure of political advertisements, will be appointed.
This channel will be focused on evolving a notification mechanism by the social-media platforms for acting on violations of Section 126 of Representation of the People Act, 1951, and preventing misuse of these platforms.
Recently, Facebook told the Bombay high court that it was voluntarily launching tools and new plans to increase advertisement transparency and authentication requirements for advertisers in political advertising. Google also said it supported “responsible political advertising” and expected all political advertisements and destinations to “comply with local campaign and election laws” for any areas they target.