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Facebook to Have Provisions for Monitoring Political Ads in India

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Indian election laws prohibit canvassing 48 hours before the commencement of electoral voting. Facebook has agreed to add a window or a button for flagging complaints about political ads but has given no commitment to adhere to the 48-hour policy.

New Delhi (Sputnik): The Election Commission of India (ECI) has asked Facebook to block political ads 48-hours before polling as per section 126 of the Representation of the People Act 1951. The act prohibits the public display of election materials within 48 hours of electoral voting.

READ MORE: India Serves Second Notice to Cambridge Analytica, Facebook on Data Leak Issue

The demand was made to the social media giant by a special committee of the ECI. A Facebook representative in a meeting with the committee did not commit to complying with the 48-hour policy, while stating that they would examine the issue, according to the PTI.

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However, Facebook has agreed to provide a window or button on its page for flagging posts violating election laws, according to the PTI.

"In a meeting of the committee constituted by the Indian Election Commission held in the first week of this month to study provisions of Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, a Facebook representative agreed to examine providing a window or button on the Facebook page for flagging complaints about violation of election laws," the PTI reports.  

READ MORE: India Seeks Written Commitment From Facebook That It Won't Leak Voters' Data

The committee chairman and senior deputy election commissioner, Umesh Sinha, said during the meeting that the aim of the ECI was to prevent violations so as to ensure free and fair elections and he said that the ECI had asked Facebook to share its code of ethics for its content and consider some mechanism to forewarn users against legal violations during elections.

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