Social media platforms present voluntary code of ethics

Platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter would act against paid advertisements that violate the Election Commission norms, the IAMAI said.  Image for representation

The ‘Voluntary Code of Ethics for the General Election 2019’ was presented by social media platforms and the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) to the Election Commission (EC) and came into force on March 20.  

Platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter would act against paid advertisements that violate the Election Commission norms, the IAMAI said. 

The EC, in a statement, said the code of ethics was developed as a follow-up to the meeting with the IAMAI and representatives of Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Google, ShareChat, TikTok and others. 

Based on the Sinha Committee's recommendations, the social media platforms have agreed to process violations reported under Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act within three hours.

Section 126 of the Act prohibits advertising and campaigning on TV and other electronic media during the 'silent period', which is 48 hours before the end of polling. 

According to reports, the current EC guidelines are as follows:

1. Pre-certification is required for advertisements on social media platforms. 

2. Social media organisations are required to monitor events during the days of polling and a 48-hour 'silence period' must be followed. 

3. The Model Code of Conduct must be followed on social media platforms as well. 

4. Political parties are required to share details of expenditure for creating and managing social media content. 

5. The Media Certification and Monitoring Committees should include one intermediary or social media expert at the district and state level. 

6. Citizens are allowed to report violations through the C-Vigil app. 

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Social media platforms present voluntary code of ethics

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