New Delhi (Sputnik): With only a month remaining before the seven-phased nationwide polls for the Parliament begin, the Indian election watchdog Election Commission of India (ECI) has asked social media giants such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Tiktok to come up with a "Code of Ethics" similar to the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) in place for government institutions in the country during the campaign period before the polls begin.
Election Commission of India today had in-depth interactive session with representatives of various Social Media Platforms & Internet and Mobile Association of India #IAMAI on the usage of #SocialMedia ahead of the #LokSabhaElections2019— PIB India (@PIB_India) March 19, 2019
An Election Commission (ECI) team held a meeting today with representatives of social media platform to arrive upon a consensus to regulate the use of online mediums of interactions during the campaign.
"All the representatives agreed to do the same for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections as well as for the future," a press release by the ECI said after the meeting.
"The meeting was centered on discussing issues like the appointment of a dedicated grievance channel for expeditious action by the organizations, pre-certification and transparency in the expenditure of political advertisements. The meeting also focused on evolving a notification mechanism by social media platforms for acting upon the violations of Section 126 of R.P. Act, 1951 (poll rules) and preventing misuse of these platforms," a release by the ECI said after the meeting.
IAMAI and Social Media intermediaries willingly agreed to come up with a ‘Code of Ethics' for the Industry laying down operational details by tomorrow evening, it added.
The agenda note circulated to the companies before the meeting said that the ECI wanted to talk about creating a notification mechanism by the social media platforms. The mechanism will help the ECI notify the relevant platform of political violations of the poll conduct rules, PTI news agency said.
The Election Commission of India has called for a meeting of Country Heads of social media platforms to fight the menace of fake news, ahead of Lok Sabha 2019 polls. | #May23WithTimesNow— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) March 19, 2019
More details by @vaishnavi_1001 in conversation with @preetiddahiya. pic.twitter.com/x7Oeh1HFEJ
The ECI also discussed action initiatives to prevent abuse and promote awareness programmes by these platforms. The issue of paid posts to be qualified as election expenses was also discussed, it added.
The parliamentary polls in India are slated to begin on April 11 and the results are scheduled to be delivered on May 23. The BJP, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and its allies are seeking a second term through the polls.