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ECI issues social media guidelines for fair election campaigns

12:13 AM May 07, 2024 IST | GK NEWS SERVICE
eci issues social media guidelines for fair election campaigns
ECI directs political parties, their representatives to use social media with responsibility --- Representational Photo
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New Delhi, May 6:  Ahead of the third phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha polls and to maintain fairness and integrity in electoral processes, the Election Commission of India (ECI) Monday directed the political parties to responsibly utilise social media platforms during election campaigning.

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With recent instances of violations of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and existing legal provisions, the ECI aims to ensure a level playing field among all stakeholders.

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Emphasising the importance of ethical conduct, the ECI cautioned against the misuse of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to create deep fakes, which can distort information and spread misinformation.

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Political parties have been reminded of the legal framework governing the regulation of misinformation and impersonation, including the Information Technology Act, of 2000, the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and provisions of the Representation of People Act of 1950 and 1951.

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Among the directives issued, political parties have been urged to refrain from circulating deep fake audios and videos, disseminating patently false information, or posting derogatory content, particularly targeting women. Additionally, the use of children in campaigns and depictions of violence or harm to animals has to be avoided.

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Parties have been mandated to promptly remove any objectionable content within three hours of identification, admonish the individuals responsible within their ranks, and report unlawful information and fake user accounts to respective platforms.

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Persistent issues are to be escalated to the Grievance Appellate Committee under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

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