Selfies, fake posts flood fraud reporting app

The Election Commission’s cVIGIL app, which was meant to involve citizens in tracking poll frauds, has turned out to be a burden on the poll watchdog, which has been inundated with selfies and fake posts.

The app, which was launched during the previous Assembly elections, was activated on March 10 to ensure fair Lok Sabha elections in the state by encouraging citizens to report any violation of the model code of conduct they come across.

However, more than making the commission’s work easy, the app has turned out to be a nightmare for officials.

False reporting

The commission’s experience with the app has shown that a significant percentage of reporting was false or inaccurate, which has led to wastage of time of field verification units. The present model code of conduct violation reporting and monitoring system seems to have been taken over by frivolous posts.

Addressing reporters on Friday, State Chief Electoral Officer Sanjeev Kumar said, “Out of the 186 cases registered through the cVIGIL app, 111 are found to be false. So, this is not serving its purpose. There are some people who are playing the fool with the app by uploading selfies and some irrelevant posts. We request them to stop misusing the app and make use of it ensure foolproof election.”

Strict action

Kumar also added that the commission will take strict action against habitual offenders if they continue to misuse the app.

Users can report various model code of conduct violations such as firearms display, intimidation, communal hate speeches, paid news, distribution of freebies, voters transportation, fake news, property defacement, distribution of money, liquor and drugs among others. The election commission has aimed to dispose of all the reported violations within 100 minutes. Once the complaint is registered, a unique ID number is generated to allow the citizens to track the status of their complaints.

The citizens also have the option of being anonymous through the app, however, they will not receive any ID
numbers.

After receiving the complaint, the commission’s flying squad will utilise a separate mobile app to track the complaint on a GIS map and file an FIR.

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Selfies, fake posts flood fraud reporting app

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