The Election Commission of India on 25 October 2013 issued a series of instructions to political parties and candidates on utilising the Internet and social media websites for poll campaign and advertisements.
In this regard an order sent to Chief Electoral Officers of the States and the Union Territories, and recognised national and regional political parties in the country.
EC new regulations came in the interest of maintaining transparency and a level playing field during polls.
EC regulations would henceforth apply to all kinds of social media like collaborative projects (Wikipedia, etc.), blogs and micro blogs (like twitter.com), content communities (like YouTube), social networking sites (like Facebook) and virtual game-worlds (like Apps).
Instructions of Election Commission of India
1. Every candidate, at the time of filing the nomination, has to give their e-mail IDs and accounts of their social networking sites, if any, for monitoring by poll or expenditure officials.
2.Contents of the advertisements issued by parties or candidates in such websites should be pre-certified by the appropriate authorities and all expenditure made towards such campaign or advertisement would be included in the election expenditure accounts of candidates or parties.
3.The provisions of the code of conduct and related instructions issued by it would apply to the content being posted on the Internet, including the social media websites, by candidates and parties.
4.Payments made to social media websites for carrying advertisements, expenditure on development of content, and spending on salaries for staff hired to maintain the social media accounts of the parties and the candidates would be included in poll expenses.
The Election Commission’s order is significant in view of the upcoming Assembly polls in Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Rajasthan and 2014 general elections.
Where: New Delhi
When: 25 October 2013