The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday told Bombay High Court that it will hold a meeting with Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter on Tuesday and ask them to consider not publishing political advertisements that aren’t pre-certified by the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC).
Chief Justice Naresh Patil and Justice N M Jamdar were hearing a petition filed by Pune-based lawyer Sagar Suryavanshi, seeking directions to the ECI to restrain any form of advertisements, videos or messages 48 hours before the election. The petition also called for the regulation of such content on social media platforms and Google during the no-campaign period before voting begins.
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After the meeting with the intermediaries, the poll panel will finalise its new directions imposing several prohibitions on political advertisements on online platforms and inform the court of them on March 25.
The three-page note submitted by ECI counsel Pradeep Rajgopal said the ECI will also discuss mechanisms through which the intermediaries would expeditiously remove any lawful data, information or advertisement already issued without the appropriate MCMC certificate.
It also said the poll body will also evolve the notification mechanism for identifying and notifying intermediaries about political advertisements for which no MCMC pre-certification has been provided.
The poll body further stated in the note that it is considering — in consultation with the intermediaries — the removal of any data, information, advertisements, posts etc. on such platforms on the ECI’s direction.