Lok Sabha elections 2014: EC issued detailed guidelines for political ads on social networking sites

In a bid to curb paid news in the Lok Sabha elections 2014, the Election Commission issued detailed guidelines to social networking sites on posting of election related matters. The guidelines will be applicable to a range of Internet-based social media viz. Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Wikipedia, etc.
As per the Election Commission guidelines, the social networking sites have

  • To maintain expenditure incurred by the political parties and individual candidates on advertisements so that they can be produced to the Commission when requested for.
  • To ensure that contents displayed by them during the electoral process was not unlawful or malicious or violative of the model code of conduct.
  • To get the approval and then publish the election advertisements. To obtain certificate for contents of political advertisements before putting them in public domain. If unlawful comments are present, violating the rule, the EC would take action to remove them.

In other words, the content managers of social networking sites have to make sure that candidates do not post anything violative of the model code of conduct.
Note: The guidelines are issued as part of the EC’s efforts to address the problem of paid news.