The project aimed at conducting an empirical and ethnographic study in the state of Uttar Pradesh in context to the state assembly elections.The hypothesis lied in the fact that media has a significant effect and involvement in the present political scenario and therefore the group aimed at relevant findings for the same.The focus of the group is to understand political communication, news production, and news consumption through a field-based research.
Sunday, 12 February 2017
Election Commission’s Control of Social Media Usage by Political Parties: Satabish Ajjarapu
Student: LLM in Law & Development, Azim Premji University, Bengaluru.
The Election Commission of India (ECI)has realised the steep increase in the
role of social media during elections hence it has anticipated certain
forthcoming problems and had decided to control social media from its nascent
stage itself and for the same the ECI had laid down rules and directions from
time to time which the Political Parties and Political Contestants need to
The ECI had first realised the potential of
Social Media in the year 2013 and had laid down rules to prevent its misuse.
According to the ECI the phrase Social Media includes the following:
The ECI had begun the regulation of Social
Media initially in the year 2013 by asking the nominating candidates to provide
their e-mail ids and social media id’s like name of the Orkut, Facebook Accounts,
Twitter Accounts. But these were applicable only to such candidates who were
owning such ids and accounts.
The ECI vide notification No. 491/SM/2013/Communication dated 25th October, 2013 had laid down
stringent guidelines by stating that all the rules and regulations which are
applicable to other forms of political campaigning are equally applicable to
the Social Media.
Pre-certification of Advertisements by the
Media Certification and Monitoring Committee has been mandated for the content
which the political parties or candidates want to post on Electronic Media
which includes Social Media. Only after receiving clearance from the Media
Certification and Monitoring Committee such content can be posted online.
The political parties should also submit a
statement of expenditure (on campaigning through internet including social
media) of elections to the ECI and such statements are required to be submitted
within 75 days of assembly elections and 90 days of Lok Sabha elections. The
candidates and political parties are required to maintain an account of
expenditure on advertisements and promotions through social media and the same needs
to be submitted along with the statement of expenditure. This account shall
also include payments made to internet companies and websites for carrying
advertisements and also campaign related operational expenditure on making of
creative development of content, operational expenditure on salaries and wages
paid to the team of workers employed by such candidates and political parties
to maintain their social media accounts.
The Election Commission has a model code
of conduct in place during the elections in respect of political parties and
candidates which remains in force from the date the elections are announced by
the Commission till the completion of elections. The provisions of this model
code of conduct and related instructions of the Commission issued from time to
time shall also be applicable to the content being posted on the internet,
including social media websites, by candidates and political parties.
Hence through the above guidelines the ECI
is planning to control the usage of Social Media in Political Campaigning and
simultaneously the ECI is working with the Ministry of Communication and
Information Technology on practical ways to deal with the issue of social media
and its usage in the election campaigning of political parties and candidates.