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Eci Response After Facebook’s Internal Documents Social Media Will Have To Follow The Voluntary Code Of Ethics In Upcoming Polls

News Desk, Amar Ujala, New Delhi

Published by: Pranjul Srivastava
Updated Tue, 23 Nov 2021 10:39 AM IST

Summary

On Monday, internal documents from Facebook revealed that the social media company had persuaded election officials to introduce a voluntary code of conduct.

After documents related to the voluntary code of conduct for social media company Facebook during the 2019 general elections came to light, the Election Commission has bluntly said that social media companies will not get any relaxation in the existing rules. They have to follow all the rules related to the code of conduct during elections. This statement of the commission came after it was revealed a day ago through internal documents of Facebook that Facebook had persuaded the Election Commission for a voluntary code of conduct.

On behalf of the commission, it has been said that social media companies were neither members nor had any right to sign in the committee set up to set up a regulatory framework for social media under the chairmanship of Umesh Sinha. Officials say that all important people related to the rules were included in the committee. A set of recommendations issued by the committee was also prepared. Under this some guidelines were given and instructions were also given to remove the posts violating section 126 immediately. Officials say that under section 126, any kind of election campaign is banned 48 hours before the polling.

All social media companies agreed to the voluntary code of conduct
The commission says Facebook was not the only one who agreed and signed a voluntary code of conduct. Representatives of all other social media companies – Twitter, Google, YouTube, ShareChat, and Internet and Mobile Association of India were also involved in this. The statement said that the voluntary code of conduct was not only for the 48 hours before the polling. This code was made for the entire electoral process. This type of code is implemented in all the elections that have been held after 2019.

Agencies were not stopped from taking action
In a statement issued by the Election Commission, it has been said that it did not prevent legal agencies from taking action for violation of section 126 or code of conduct by any social media company. This makes it clear that the Voluntary Code of Conduct was just an additional code to take action against the violating posts.

Expansion

After documents related to the voluntary code of conduct for social media company Facebook during the 2019 general elections came to light, the Election Commission has bluntly said that social media companies will not get any relaxation in the existing rules. They have to follow all the rules related to the code of conduct during elections. This statement of the commission came after it was revealed a day ago through internal documents of Facebook that Facebook had persuaded the Election Commission for a voluntary code of conduct.

On behalf of the commission, it has been said that social media companies were neither members nor had any right to sign in the committee set up to set up a regulatory framework for social media under the chairmanship of Umesh Sinha. Officials say that all important people related to the rules were included in the committee. A set of recommendations issued by the committee was also prepared. Under this some guidelines were given and instructions were also given to remove the posts violating section 126 immediately. Officials say that under section 126, any kind of election campaign is banned 48 hours before the polling.

All social media companies agreed to the voluntary code of conduct

The commission says Facebook was not the only one who agreed and signed a voluntary code of conduct. Representatives of all other social media companies – Twitter, Google, YouTube, ShareChat, and Internet and Mobile Association of India were also involved in this. The statement said that the voluntary code of conduct was not only for the 48 hours before the polling. This code was made for the entire electoral process. This type of code is implemented in all the elections that have been held after 2019.

Agencies were not stopped from taking action

In a statement issued by the Election Commission, it has been said that it did not prevent legal agencies from taking action for violation of section 126 or code of conduct by any social media company. This makes it clear that the Voluntary Code of Conduct was just an additional code to take action against the violating posts.

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