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Political advertisements on social media will need pre-certification: ECI

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The general election in 2019 will be the first election when it will not only be fought on the ground but also on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, WhatsApp and Share Chat. The Election Commission of India is prepared to monitor the election campaign on social media.

All the provisions of model code of conduct will apply to the content being posted on the social media by candidates and political parties, said Chief election commissioner Sunil Arora while announcing the election dates.

All political advertisements on social media will need pre-certification, he added.

Now the political candidates also have to provide details of their social media accounts at the time of filing their nomination.

SMS or Voice messages on phone and election campaigning through social media will also be under the purview of pre-certification of election advertisements, just like electronic and radio advertisements.

The EC plans to have a social media expert on board to ensure fair practice during polls.

It will also take help of last year launched app Cvigil to help citizens to report any violation of the model code of conduct during elections.

Besides, the expenditure on campaigning advertisements on social media will have to be included in the election expenditure account.

In the last few years, the social media sites have emerged as platforms for political parties to run their views and propaganda to manipulate voter base present there.

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