Kerala election and social media

By : |April 18, 2016 0

Social media is influencing everyone and everything irrespective of age, social background or any professional streamline. Kerala, a state known for its strong-arm tactics, is witnessing an unprecedented use of social media, this time, around to make the most in the coming elections. And to keep a tab on the tactics of the political parties, the Election Commission is closely monitoring web platform as it is making all-out efforts to check the scourge of paid news.

The Election Commission has noticed a big jump in the use of social media compared to the previous elections, where campaigning is taking place through the social media accounts of candidates and their pages and WhatsApp groups.

Candidates have been asked to file affidavits with regard to the use of social media. Accounts and posts would be monitored based on this affidavit. Any news or advertisements to the benefit of candidates through print, audio, and visual media would be treated as paid news. The district-level monitoring committee will identify the paid news based on the Press Council guidelines.

Strict guidelines are also placed to monitor advertisements placed by candidates in the media. The media should not publish advertisements without the certification of the district-level media monitoring committee.

The cost of paid news would be added to the election expenditure of the candidates. The committee would submit reports on paid news to the returning officers. Explanation will be sought in such cases within 98 hours and the candidates should respond within 48 hours. In the event of failure to respond on time, the committee would be empowered to reach a judicious decision. Candidates not satisfied with the decision will have the right to approach the State-level committee.

Reports on paid news are being prepared based on the close scrutiny of radio, television channels and cable television networks.

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