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Lok Sabha 2019 Elections, EC Outlines Stringent Guidelines For Social Media Usage During Campaigns

Candidates and political parties are required to include their campaigning expenditure, including the money spent on social media advertising, in their poll expenditure account.

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While declaring the election dates, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora also announced strict guidelines for use of social media by political parties and candidates. Pixabay

With the Election Commission outlining stringent guidelines for social media usage during elections, political parties and candidates won’t be able to post unverified advertisements, photographs of defence personnel, hate speeches and fake news on their accounts.

The poll panel here on Sunday announced Lok Sabha elections in seven phases between April 11 and May 19.

While declaring the election dates, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora also announced strict guidelines for use of social media by political parties and candidates.

According to the new guidelines, candidates are required to furnish details of their social media accounts at the time of filing nominations and their activities on Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Google would be under the Election Commission’s close scrutiny.

Provisions of the model code of conduct will also apply to the content being posted on social media by candidates and political parties. Any violation may lead to action by the Election Commission.

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According to the new guidelines, candidates are required to furnish details of their social media accounts at the time of filing nominations and their activities on Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Google would be under the Election Commission’s close scrutiny.
Pixabay

“The media certification and monitoring committees (MCMCs) are in place at the district and state levels. One social media expert will also be part of this committee at each level. All political advertisements, proposed to be issued on the social media, shall require pre-certification from the MCMC concerned,” Arora said.

The platforms will also deploy appropriate fact checkers to scan fake news and abuses on the social media.

As per the guidelines, no political party or candidate must display photographs of defence personnel on social media for the campaigning purpose.

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As per the guidelines, no political party or candidate must display photographs of defence personnel on social media for the campaigning purpose. Pixabay

They must also not post any content that could vitiate the electoral process or disturb peace, tranquillity, social harmony and public order.

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Candidates and political parties are required to include their campaigning expenditure, including the money spent on social media advertising, in their poll expenditure account.

“This, among other things, shall include payments made to internet companies and websites for carrying advertisements and also campaign-related operational expenditure on making creative development of content, salaries and wages paid to the team employed to maintain social media accounts,” the Election Commission said. (IANS)

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US President Donald Trump Again Slams Google for Manipulating 2016 Election

Trump and fellow Republicans have accused tech giants including Google of bias against conservative viewpoints

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US, President, Donald Trump
President Donald Trump listens during a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, July 16, 2019, in Washington. VOA

US President Donald Trump has once again lashed out at Google for manipulating millions of votes in the 2016 presidential elections in favour of then Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

“Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election! This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought,” Trump tweeted late Monday.

However, the report Trump mentioned in his tweet was published in 2017 that described there was a bias in Google and other search engines during the run-up to the 2016 elections.

Trump’s tweet citing an old research paper also tagged conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch with his tweet, “perhaps asking them to investigate. It’s also unclear who he thinks should sue the company”, reports TechCrunch.

In a statement, Google said: “This researcher’s inaccurate claim has been debunked since it was made in 2016. As we stated then, we have never re-ranked or altered search results to manipulate political sentiment.”

Clinton also responded to Trump: “The debunked study you’re referring to was based on 21 undecided voters. For context that’s about half the number of people associated with your campaign who have been indicted.”

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

The paper was published by Robert Epstein, a psychology researcher who works for the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology and testified before the US Senate Judiciary Committee in June.

The CNBC reported that “Trump’s tweet appears to refer to documents leaked to conservative group Project Veritas, but the documents do not appear to contain any outright allegation of vote manipulation or attempts to bias the election”.

Earlier this month, Trump criticized Google CEO Sundar Pichai for alleged ties to election tampering and China’s military.

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“@sundarpichai of Google was in the Oval Office working very hard to explain how much he liked me, what a great job the Administration is doing, that Google was not involved with China’s military, that they didn’t help Crooked Hillary over me in the 2016 Election,” he had tweeted.

Trump and fellow Republicans have accused tech giants including Google of bias against conservative viewpoints. (IANS)