Question: What are the various challenges in conducting free and fair elections in the era of rapid growth of social media? Mention the steps taken by the Election Commission of India to tackle this menace and suggest further measures. (20 Marks, 400 Words)
|What: used to ask information about people or things
|Briefly highlight the control that social media can have over public sentiment vis-a-vis elections.
|Challenges posed by social media to free and fair elections in India:
●Not Legally Binding
●Rapid transmission of misinformation
●Lack of regulation mechanism
●Misuse by political parties
●Concerns about various fundamental rights
|Various steps taken by the ECI:
●candidates will have to furnish the details of their social media accounts at the time of filing their nominations.
●The Election Commission has asked Google, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to verify all the political advertisements coming from various political parties.
●A grievance officer has also been appointed to take complaints related to these advertisements on all social media platforms, informed the CEC during the press conference.
●All expenditure on campaigning advertisements on social media is to be included in the election expenditure account,
●C-Vigil app: To help citizens to confidentially report any violation of the election code of conduct and any malpractices.
|Steps taken till now need to be further supplemented through various measures such as:
●Legal framework to enforce MCC
●reply on the judgment of ECI over the content on social media
●ECI needs to ensure that no political advertisement runs on social media
|Adoption of Umesh Sinha Committee report in view of social media because it has become the most dominant source of political information.
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