The social media platforms such as Facebook and twitter have adopted a voluntary code of ethics for the upcoming general elections.The code was prepared by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).
Election Commission had asked social media platforms to adopt a ‘Code of Ethics’ to be followed by the them during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.The code will come into effect from March 20 and will be in force throughout elections.
The code of ethics includes (a)reporting mechanism to deal with complaints (b)facilitating transparency in paid political advertisements (c)expedite the process and take action on paid political advertisements (d)abiding by pre-certification by the Media Certification & Monitoring Committee (MCMC) of EC on advertisements and (e)updating EC on the measures taken by them to prevent abuse of their respective platforms.
This code also establishes high-priority communication channel between the nodal officers designated by the ECI and Social media platforms.The nodal officers will report the violations under Section 126 of the Representation of People’s Act (RPA).These complaints will be processed within 3 hours of violations reported.
Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act,1951 imposes election silence period which prohibits any form of election campaign in the last 48 hours leading up to voting.It gives voters a peaceful condition to consider and make a final decision on their vote.
The Representation of People Act,1951 is an act of Parliament of India which provides (a)the conduct of elections of the Houses of Parliament and to the House of the Legislature of each State (b)the qualifications and disqualifications for membership of those Houses and (c)the corrupt practices,decisions,doubts and disputes arising in connection with such elections.