All content posted by political parties and election candidates on internet and social media websites like Facebook and Twitter will now come under the scanner of the Election Commission after it on Friday issued detailed instructions in this regard.
The EC has directed all political parties and candidates to get their advertisements pre-certified by it before issuing them on social media websites.
It also asked the parties and candidates contesting the upcoming Assembly polls to provide details of their internet/social media accounts along with a statement of expenditure incurred for creating them.
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However,as to content posted by persons or entities other than candidates and political parties,EC said it was considering the matter in consultation with the government to find a practical way out.
Issuing detailed instructions in the matter ahead of Assembly polls in Delhi,Rajasthan,Madhya Pradesh,Mizoram and Chhattisgarh,EC averred that the said steps were being taken in the interests of transparency and would provide a level-playing field.
“The provisions of the model code of conduct and related instructions issued from time to time shall also apply to the content being posted on the internet,including social media websites,by candidates and political parties,” an EC order said today.
In a direction to the Chief Electoral Officers of all states and various political parties in the country,EC said,”No political advertisements are to be released on any internet-based media/websites,including social media websites,by political parties/candidates without pre-certification from competent authorities in the same format.”