Cong moves EC on 'proxy' comments in virtual world

Cong moves EC on 'proxy' comments in virtual world

With social media turning into a political battlefield, the Congress on Saturday approached the Election Commission with a demand for greater curbs to weed out objectionable content posted by individuals or groups who could be proxies of political parties and their leaders.

The Election Commission, last year, made it mandatory for political parties and their candidates to disclose their expenditure on advertisements on websites and brought their remarks on social networking websites under the ambit of the Model Code of Conduct.

Now, the Congress wants the Election Commission to regulate the comments on social media made by people other than candidates and political parties.

In a letter to Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath, the Congress contended that the poll authority’s instructions dated October 25, 2013, on use of social media dealt with only political parties and candidates. “Insofar as the contents posted by people other than candidates and political parties are concerned, the matter is still under consideration of the Commission and so far this is a grey area which needs to be regulated by the Election Commission of India for smooth and fair conduct of elections,” K C Mittal, AICC Secretary, in-charge of the Legal and Human Rights Department, said in the letter.  “It is a well-known fact that in the fast-growing internet dynamics, individuals and groups post objectionable content on the internet relating to the political parties, their candidates and leaders, which are not permissible by law,” he said. The Congress has asked the commission to treat such posts by individuals and groups as violation of the Model Code of Conduct and “expeditiously” issue instructions to this effect.

The Congress contended that such comments on social networking websites are often “surrogated”.

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