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Social media platforms agree to follow 'code of ethics' in India for elections


By Taruka Srivastav, Reporter

September 27, 2019 | 3 min read

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Google and WhatsApp have agreed to follow the "voluntary code of ethics" as directed by the Election Commission of India (ECI) in all future elections, including the upcoming Maharashtra and Haryana assembly polls.

Facebook, Twitter, TikTok will follow 'code of ethics' in India for all elections

Facebook, Twitter, TikTok will follow 'code of ethics' in India for all elections

According to the code, no political campaign will be allowed to be run on social media platforms in the last 48 hours before polling ends. This period is referred to as "silence period" to allow voters to take a considered decision without the heat and dust of campaign on whom to vote.

The code further facilitates transparency in paid political advertisements. The code, which was derived to act against paid advertisements that violate norms set by the Election Commission, came into force on March 20 in the last Lok Sabha polls.

The poll panel said: "Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) on behalf of its members has agreed to observe the voluntary code of ethics during all future elections, including the ongoing general elections to the Haryana and Maharashtra legislative assemblies and various by-elections being held simultaneously."

ECI last convened a meeting with country heads of major social media companies on 19th March 2019 to discuss issues related to the use of social media in the Lok Sabha elections.

Facebook recently rolled out various measures to ensure transparency in political advertising on its platforms ahead of the general elections in Singapore. Twitter too, earlier this year, extended it political ad transparency measure to Canada.

Earlier this year, The Drum took a look at the 2019 elections around Asia Pacific, from electoral ads to political marketing.

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